President White Library,
Cornell University Library
The days of Jeanne d'Arc /
3 1924 021 974 682
The original of tliis book is in
tine Cornell University Library.
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the United States on the use of the text.
OF JEANNE D'ARC
OF JEANNE DARC
MARY HARTWELL CATHERWOOD
AUTHOR OF "THE ROMANCE OF DOLLARD "
"THE WHITE ISLANDER," ETC.
THE CENTURY CO.
By The CBNTTrBT Co.
The De Vinne Press.
THIS BOOK IS DEDICATED
TO A MUCH-LOVED FRENCH-AMERICAN WOMAN
MRS. CHARLES HENROTIN
HIS book is the outcome of many months'
patient study and collection of material
in America; the revisal and rejection of
much of this in Paris ; of journeys over
the Maid's country and her path from Domremy to
Kouen, in voitures, on foot, in carts; of a careful
study of the fifteenth century ; and, at the risk of mov-
ing a smile, I will confess it is the result of a divine
Too much stress cannot be laid on geographical
correctness in the setting of any historical story.
More than two thousand books have been written
about Jeanne d'Arc, many beiag mere repetitions of
previous books. The list of these works makes a for-
midable volume. She is almost the only human being
who grows more admirable and wonderful the nearer
you come to the truth about her. Occasionally you
will hear a reader exclaim, like the courtiers at Bourges,
"Jeanne d'Arc!— I am sick of her!" But the ma-
jority of the world go on from generation to generar
tion imitating the troops of France, who form in front
of the stone shed where she was born and present arms
to her before they pass by.
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC
LL France was lighted by an early rising
moon, and the village of Bnry-la-C6te,
seated on a high ridge, seemed to glitter
just beneath the sky. There was frost on
the sqiiare, low church tower, on tight-shut windows,
and on the manure-heaps carefully raked into place
beside the doors, and held by stone barriers to mellow
for the spring fields.
It was a cold night even for January. Durand
Laxart decided, as he unchained his horse, to let the
cart stand outside the archway, and lead the poor
beast directly into its snug stable in the end of the
He came out again into the moonlight and walked
around the muck-barrier to his own door. He Avas
proud of his new house. It had an ogival portal, and
above the little window was an ornament in stone
shaped like a clover-leaf. But no light shone through
2 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ABC
this window, for a long, dark passage led to the inner
room, where his wife and new-born child lay asleep in
their cupboard bed. Dorand took ofiE his wooden
shoes, and carrying them in his hand, tiptoed over
the hard, white earthen floor. The woman's brown
peasant face, strangely bleached and refined by mother-
hood, awed him by its contrast with the coarse wool of
her bed. The bed doors stood wide open, their clean
panels shining in the firelight. A whole bundle of
fagots blazed in the chimney. The white stone mantel,
shaped somewhat like a penthouse, and the scoured
hearth flags, brightened the dark room, for there was
only one window, looking toward the valley of the
He scented his supper in an iron pot on a tripod be-
fore the fire. The table stood near the hearth, holding
a large knife with which to cut his bread, a wooden
drinking-cup,'and a flask of red wine ; for in this valley
of the Meuse contending armies had not trampled down
The woman and the baby continued to sleep. Du-
rand slipped on his wooden shoes again, and opened
a back door into his garden. There was a steep flight
of stone steps, down which he thumped toward a tile-
roofed oven. The garden sloped downward, and
though it had the desolation of winter upon it, his
eye selected the very spot where he would soon begin
to dig and plant. Pausing, with his wooden shoes
wide apart on the slippery descent, he gazed down the
south-stretching valley, the loveliest valley of the
"Vosges, streaked with ribbons of stubble left by the
scanty crops. Plowing and sowing had been irregular
THE DAYS OF JEANNK D'AEC 3
work since the English began to trouble France. The
soil had a whiteness not given to it by winter rime ;
but in the next villages, hid from him by a shoulder
of the hill,— Goussaincourt and Greux and Dopiremy,
—there were black gaps made by raiding Burgnndians.
The Meuse, in summer almost hid among its marshy
islands, now spread from bank to bank, showing a line
of ice along its edges. The course of the Meuse was
called the march of Lorraine and Champagne, and had
long been a place of contention between kings of
France and dukes of Burgundy, lying as it did between
the two portions of Burgundy. The people of this
march had no feudal lord between them and the king ;
they were vassals to the King of France alone. This
bred a serious and stubborn loyalty, which kept them
bound to their sovereign, though isolated from him.
For in that year of grace 1429 the kingdom of France
had receded before the invading English until its
northern line lay far below the ancient capital of Paris,
and included only the provinces of Dauphin^, Langue-
doc, Bourbonnais, I'Auvergne, Berri, Poitou, Sain-
tange, Touraine, and Orleans. And some of these
were crumbling before the incoming tide. All the
richest provinces and nearly all the seaports were held
by the Enghsh. To go into France from the march
of Lorraine at that day meant to traverse a wide coun-
tiy overrun by aliens.
The far ridge beyond the Meuse seemed to draw
near in moonlight. All at once there was a sweet
clamor of bells drifting from Greux and Domremy^
and the church of Bury-la-CSte joined in, chiming the
angelus. The man pulled at his cap with a gesture of
4 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC
reverence, and slouched into an attitude of devotion.
He felt constrained to pray, for at the sound of the
bells his wife's cousin, Jeanne d'Arc, came out of the
oven-shed with a huge ring of bread in her hands.
She slipped the ring upon her arm and joined her
palms, bending her forehead to them. While the
angelus rang no man could speak a word to little Je-
hannette. Though she was full of life, Durand some-
times thought her imnaturally religious for so young
a creature. But it made her very handy when one
had sickness in the house. He was better pleased to
have her take care of his wife than to have his own
loud-voiced mother continually about.
As the bells ceased, a faint wailing in the house
called them. Jeanne put her ring of bread on the
table, and took up the baby, whUe the mother, roused
from sleep, answered her husband with yawning re-
"It is nothing but drowsiness that keeps me abed.
I shall be up at my spinning by to-morrow."
"Not to-morrow, Aveline. Isabel Eom6e says we
may keep Jehannette two weeks more. Let her spin
for thee. She can spin and sew as well as any maid
of her age in the Meuse valley."
"But if I am able to spin, why should n't If A
man never thinks any woman can get tired of waiting
on him. Jehannette may like to stu- from the house
while she stays." Aveline drew her hand down his
"Lie still yet to-night," he insisted; so she dozed
agam, while he cut his black bread and emptied the
pot into his platter. Then he sat down comfortably to
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 5
his supper. The earthen floor, as hard as rock, had
been brushed speckless with a broom of soft river-
grasses. Small joists, crossed by large beams over-
head, so low that they almost touched his hair when
he stood up, were rich brown in the firelight. There
was no candle lighted. Threads of flame wove them-
selves among the fagot sticks and rushed up the chim-
ney-back. Jeanne sat with the child's swaddled feet
toward the blaze, and after blinking at the joists it sunk
into the stupid content of its kind. Her face was so
young that this maternal care was like the attitude of
a child nursing its painted doll.
Durand poured out his wine, and plunged his fingers
into his dish. He glanced at the girl, but her eyes
were on the fire, and suddenly he noticed under them
the hollows made by weeping. Her face was oval in
shape, and the outline of the cheek never changed,
but firelight showed the pallor of dejection. The laced
bodice of her red peasant dress did not cover the top
of her neck ; it was white and childlike compared with
the neck of her cousin in the bed. Her hair was
twisted into a long knot, but it flew out in halos. The
hollow between lower lip and chin was deeply indented,
and her chin was pointed rather than round. '
"What ails thee, Jehannette?" inquired Durand,
with quick sympathy and some dread that she had
grown tired of waiting on him.
Jeanne visibly repressed herself. Instead of an-
swering she inquired of him:
" Did you see my father in Domremy to-day ? "
" I saw him ; ha is well."
" And my mother ? "
6 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC
" Yes ; she is well."
" Yes ; he sent a kiss for each cheek."
" Mengette and Jacquemine, you also saw them ? "
"I saw them all, and they all asked when you
were coming home ; but Isabel hath promised you to
us a little longer. It is not so far from Domremy to
Bury-la-C6te," argued Durand; "not two leagues,
though they be slow leagues through stiff clay
across the prairie. Your foot-path along the hills is
" But it is farther to Vaucouleurs," said Jeanne ; " I
must go to Vaucouleurs to-morrow."
" And what would you do at Vaucouleurs * " Du-
rand's eye twinkled. "Would you go to take back
what you said at Toul?"
Jeanne's hazel eyes reflected his image with simple
" No ; I will never take back what I said at Toul."
" But Bertrand de Poulengy is a fine young fellow.
I have heard if we knew more about him it would turn
out he was born in a ch§,teau."
"He should have learned to speak the truth there.
He did a wicked thing to take a public oath I had
given him my word. I had to go to Toul to deny it
before the magistrate. It was very cruel of Bertrand
"He wanted thee," chuckled Durand. Nothing
amuses a man so much as another man's discomfiture
in courtship. " And thy father and mother, they were
" But I cannot cumber myself with marriage," said
THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'AEC 7
Jeanne. Her repressed weeping broke out. "Com-
pare ^ Durand, I must go into France."
The man paused in his eating, holding the meat be-
tween his jaws. He had heard of this matter before ;
but it had not pierced his marrow with that sweetness
of voice and that cry of necessity. "I must go into
France!" Jeanne's voice was spoken about in the
valley. When she called to one at a distance, the bell
notes expanded, filling the air ; but in talk she spoke
low. The woman in the cupboard bed was aware only
of the man's hoarser note.
" Jehannette, thy father has told me he would drown
thee with his own hands rather than have thee go away
Jeanne put out one palm to stop him. The firelight
showed her long fingers and compact wrist. Tears
rushed down her face.
" My father— my dear father ! I would rather be in
the fields with him, or by my mother's side spinning,
than anywhere in France. But I can no longer help
it. For three years I have been commanded, and now
I must go."
" Who commanded thee ? " asked her relative, hold-
ing a black bit of liver in his fingers.
" Attend," said Jeanne, in the manner of the peas-
ants of Domremy. Her childish face stiffened with
awe. " I was about thirteen when I had a voice from
God to help me rule myseH. The first time I heard it
I was very much afraid. It was in my father's garden
at noon in the summer. I had fasted the day before.
The voice came from the right hand of the church,
1 Godfather, friend, or erony.
8 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AKC
and there was a great light with it. Afterward, if I
was in a wood I heard the voice coming to me. When
I had heard it three times I knew it was the voice of
an angel. It has always kept me well, and I under-
stand perfectly what it says."
"What does it say?" whispered the man. He
obeyed habit, and put the bite into his mouth, but
held it there with the other meat. Old Choux in
Domremy, Jeanne's nearest neighbor, who was so old
that people had forgotten his age, was claiming to have
a voice also.
"It says,"— she lifted both hands and threw them
out before her,— " 'Daughter of God, go, go ! I will
be thine aid.' "
The baby slept in its bands on her lap. The fagots
showed that her face was white. Durand ground his
food and swallowed it with a gulp; he leaned his
elbows on the table.
" Pucelle,^ did you see anything in the light ? "
Jeanne's voice became a thread of sound, one chord,
on which she vibrated to him :
"I saw St. Michael; I saw St. Catherine and St.
" But how did you know it was St. Michael, or St.
Catherine and St. Margaret ? "
" At first I did not know, but St. Michael told me ;
he said : ' Go into France ; St. Catherine and St. Mar-
garet wUl aid thee.' I said on my knees : ' How can
I go? I know nothing of arms.' He answered:
' Daughter of God, go, go ! I will be thine aid.' "
Though Durand Lasart had never seen visions, and
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 9
his wife Aveline liad never seen visions or heard voices,
he felt a surging of the blood which seemed to clear
his brain for new impressions. Jeanne saw that he
believed in her. The strained whiteness of her face
became a softer paUor, and she wiped her eyes.
" Compere, have you not always heard that a woman
would ruin France, and a maid from the march of
Lorraine would rise up and save it?"
Diu-and nodded his head. He had heard this pro-
phecy aU his life, and it had already become a common
saying that Isabel of Bavaria, the queen, was that
" The Queen of France is that woman," said Jeanne ;
" she has demed her own son, and sold us aU to the
English. Compk-e, myself— I am that maid from the
march of Lorraine. I was bom for this pm-pose. You
must take me to Vaucouleurs, to Robert de Baudri-
court, and ask him to send me into France. I have to
raise the siege of Orldans and take the Dauphin
Charles to be crowned at Eheims."
Diu-and sat staring at her without speaking. He
poured out a cupful of the thin, sour wine, and drank
She had to raise the siege of Orleans, and take the
Dauphin Charles to be crowned at Rheims !
It was high time the dauphin was crowned at
Rheims, that ancient city of coronation, where nearly
every king of France since Clovis had been conse-
crated. No subject accepted a king until he had been
crowned at Rheims. The loyal people of Poitiers had
put a crown upon Charles's head, but his enemies
laughed at him, and called him the little King of
10 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC
Bourges. And it was high time some power raised
the siege of Orleans —OrMans, the heart of France,
the key to the southern provinces, the last stronghold
of the loyal party.
News traveled slowly, bnt in those days political
facts were stamped on a peasant's mind by the horse-
hoofs of raiders. The Duke of Orleans was a prisoner
in England. His people, ia their extremity, had ap-
pealed to his enemy and kinsman, the Duke of ^Bur-
gundy, to stand betwixt them and the English, and
make their territory neutral. The Duke of Burgundy
attempted to do this, but his distrustful allies permitted
him to protect no French territory except his own. It
was hard to be the greatest peer of France, the one
whose right it was to place the king's crown on his
head and do him first homage, and yet to be con-
strained by personal revenge to join hands with he-
reditary foes and invaders. The Duke of Burgundy
was now sulking in his own domains, and the English
intrenchments were closing around Orleans.
" Compare," continued Jeanne, " when I found my
family would never consent, I started by myself one
day to go into France; but when I had gone some
leagues I knew it was no use. I must be sent by the
Captain of Vaucouleurs ; St. Catherine and St. Mar-
garet have told me what to do."
" Do you ever see their faces ! " inquired Durand,
sinking his voice.
"I see their faces," spoke Jeanne; "I see them al-
ways in the same form. I do not know if there is
anything in the shape of arms or other members
figured. They are crowned with beautiful crowns,
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AKO 11
very rich and very precious. Of their raiment I can-
not speak. I know them by the sound of their voices.
They are sweet and humble. They speak very well
and in beautiful language, and I understand them
It was an age in which supernatural things were
heard of on every side : but Durand had a well-com-
pacted body, and lived near the soil; he had never
troubled himself about spiritual mysteries. This new
attitude of his mind, when he noticed it, astonished
him. He did not know why he believed in Jeanne ;
he felt as if he were in church, and obliged to do what
he was told to do. The baby slept on her lap, with
the rapid breathing of infancy. He looked at his little
child with an emotional puckering of his face, and at
the larger child holding it. His wife had played with
Jeanne d'Arc about the spring behind Bermont chapel.
His wife was now a young matron ; but this other girl,
of unusual physical growth, had yet an innocence like
that of a babe. St. Michael, the terrible archangel of
battles ; St. Catherine, the martyr of Egypt ; and St.
Margaret, the Greek virgin, might have shown them-
selves to such a being.
" But if I take thee to Messire de Baudricourt, Je-
hannette," Durand objected, " what will Jacques d'Arc
and Isabel Rom4e say to me ? "
" They will forgive you."
" They will say I have made them a poor return for
the nursing of my wife and child," he continued.
" If you cannot take me, compare, I must set out by
myself on foot to-morrow," she responded.
" No ; that will never do. I must go along."
12 THE DATS OP JEANNE D'AEC
Durand sat frowning over his folded arms while he
deliberated. He glanced toward the cupboard bed,
and leaned forward to speak between nearly closed
" Attend, Jehannette. When my mother comes in
to-morrow to help Aveline with the child, we will say
nothing abont Vanconleurs. They might send word
to Jacques and Isabel. I wiU say I go again to Dom-
remy. When you get into the cart they wiU think you
are going home."
Jeanne heard this proposed deceit without any an-
swering smile of caution.
"I must go, no matter who tries to prevent me.
They will forgive you, compare, and they will forgive
me when they understand that I was obliged to go."
" The horse and the cart and I, we will have to stay
in Vaucoulenrs overnight. Attend, Jehannette," con-
tinned Durand, twitching the lid of one of his pleasant
eyes. " I will say that I may have to go even as far
as NeufchAteau to-morrow. It is a bad time of the
year to travel, and I cannot get back the same night."
As he laid plans to hoodwink his family, Durand's
big finger traced a map on the table, with the villages
in their actual position, leaving out the intermediate
ones which had nothing to do with the matter : Vau-
coulenrs first, in the north ; then Bury-la-C6te ; Dom-
remy farther down the valley of the Meuse; and
farthest south of aU, Neufch&teau. The cunning ex-
pression on the honest man's face made Jeanne laugh.
The tears were scarcely dry on her cheeks, but her
whole figure was elastic with relief.
" We must tell the truth, compare ; I think Aveline
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 13
and your mother ouglit to know that we go to Vau-
Durand regarded her attentively, and nodded his
head. "Eh, well; if you think it best, I will teU
Aveline and my mother. But the next thing to bo
considered is, where will you stay at night in Vaucou-
" I have thought about the wife of Henri Eoyer
the wheelwright," answered Jeanne. "She was my
mother's friend when they were both pucelles in
" Her house will be the place for you. Have you
ever seen her ? "
" Only once, when she came to Domremy in a new
cart, before men-at-arms oven-an the country. It was
before our Catherine died. Aveline and I were not old
enough to tend the sheep. She gave us all a good wel-
come to her house."
" It will do," said Durand, with satisfaction ; " and
now go to bed, Jehannette, for we must get up early
to make this journey."
Drawing the child's clumsy cradle to its place beside
the cupboard bed, Jeanne tucked the little bundle in,
and put away the remains of Durand's supper on the
shelves of a closet beside the chimney. She then
washed the ware which he had used, and set the cup
back on the clean table beside the unfinished bottle.
To reach her bed she was obliged to go out of the
back door into the garden and enter another room.
She went without any light except the abundant
splendor of the moon. It was to a fireless best cham-
ber, as chill as the walls of a tomb ; but her face laughed
14 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC
in the closing doorway as she bade her kinsman and
helper good night.
"Good night, Jehannette," answered Durand, and
he poured out another cup of the thin wine, and leaned
over the dying fagots. " Oh, yes ; I will tell AveUne
and my mother," he said to himself, rubbing his knee,
and grinning ; " but I will tell them what I please, and
it win not be that I go in the direction of Vaucouleurs.
A man ought to have at least one lie on his conscience
when he goes to confession. I have recently been too
It was not the lie which troubled him most all next
VaucouIiEURS,— valley of colors,— bmlt on a hillside
above the Meuse, was a walled town, one of the faith-
ful little citadels holding out for the Dauphin Charles.
The river-meadows below are wide, and clouds seem
always to be leaning on those Vosges hDls, which roll
in undulating uplands against the sky. The early
blue twilight of winter had already begun to blur
leafless thickets on the islands and those ribbons and
squares of stubble which showed where the valley
crops had been and the plowman had not, when Du-
rand Laxart drove his horse between the southern
gate-towers. Flakes of stiffened mud fell from the
cart-wheels on the small paving-stones of the principal
street ; dirty water stood chilled in the stone gutters.
Vaucouleurs, like other towns, threw its worst out of
the front door, and saved its best for the garden at
the back. Crooked and winding sti-eets, so narrow
that a cart filled them from wall to wall, ascended and
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 15
descended in every direction. The chateau of the
Captain of Vaucouleurs was np the height, and its
battlements and square towers could be seen far down
the valley. Jeanne had watched it while horse and
cart plodded over stretches of the white mire into
which those stony hills dissolved their dust. She still
looked upward, half muffling her face in her woolen
wrappings, as Durand stopped in an open square and
searched for Eoyer's house.
" They told us at the gate that it faced north— a
high, narrow house with a yellow door. There it is,"
said he, indicating a door with his whip. He turned
the horse's head.
" But I must go first to Messire Robert de Baudri-
court," said Jeanne.
" Not without a bite to eat or a fagot to warm by 1 "
" I am too warm, compare ; I am full of blood. And
I cannot eat until Messire de Baudricourt has heard
what I have to tell him."
"Eh, well," grumbled Durand; "but consider the
horse. I say nothing ; fasting is good for my soul :
but the poor beast has no soul to be benefited, and he
needs stable and provender."
" Then, compare, let me stand here while you stable
the horse and take a message to Henri Eoyer's wife.
I cannot speak to any one before I have spoken to
Messire de Baudricourt."
Durand would have descended from the cart, but
Jeanne let herself lightly down by the iron step. Then
he rattled across the square, and she stood waiting.
Some children in wooden shoes made a great noise
in the street as they ran past with a dog. They looked
16 THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'AEC
at her, but felt too abashed to say good day to a
stranger who did not appear to see them. Few women
looked out of the closed windows. Candles began to
EoBEKT DE Batideicoukt, the Captain of Vaucou-
leurs, was sitting at his supper when a soldier came in
and made salutation. Enjoyment of his fire and cheer-
ful table never relaxed this portly captain of an isolated
and dangerous post. The Burgundians were more to
be dreaded than the Enghsh in his part of the kingdom,
but matters were growing so bad that everything was
to be dreaded.
" News, my man ? " he inquired, with an alert turn
of the head.
" There are two peasants at the gate, messire the
captain. The woman says she has an urgent message
" Troopers are probably out over the valley again.
Bring her in and let us hear what she has to say."
He went on hastily with his supper, for arming and
saddling might be the very next business. At the
sound of wooden shoes he looked up, and saw a bare-
headed peasant, abashed and reluctant, leading into the
room a young maid in a bodice and petticoat of the
coarse cloth spun and woven in the valley. Her bodice
was laced up toward her neck. Baudricoui-t noticed
that her face was white even to the lips. He expected
to hear of a house sacked and a family slaughtered.
" Good evening to both," said the captain ; " I hope
you bring no evil news."
" No, messire the captain," spoke Jeanne ; " I bring
THE DATS OF JEANNE D'AEC 17
yon good news. St. Michael and St. Catherine and St.
Margaret have sent me to you."
Baudricourt wheeled around in his chair. In aU his
military experience he had never had any dealings
with saints. It was his opinion that the beneficent
powers, if any existed, had washed their hands of
France. There was not a more distressed kingdom on
the face of the earth. The very princes of the blood
had trampled it in their quarrels. For years a lunatic
king and a dissolute queen had represented its govern-
ment. And now that Charles VI was dead, his heir
the dauphin was disinherited by the treaty of Troyes,
which bound the queen and the Duke of Burgundy to
the party of young Henry of England. Paris was the
capital of invaders. The whole realm was desolated
by long-continued war. And now Orleans was about
to f aJl into the hands of the enemy.
" Who are you ? " inquired Baudricourt, bending his
eyebrows at Jeanne. Eobert de Baudricourt never
seemed a clean-shaven man ; he bristled fresh from his
" I am the maid sent from God.",
" What 's your name ? "
"Jeanne d'Ai-cj but in my country they call me
" What de you want ? "
" I want you, messire, to send me to the Dauphin
Charles. I have to raise the siege of Orleans, and take
him to be crowned at Rheims."
" Stuff and nonsense ! " roared Baudricourt. " Why
do you come to me with such a tale as this? You
fellow -with, her, who are you?"
18 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ABC
" I am her cousin, messire the captain."
"Her relative, are you? Has she no father and
" Yes, messire the captain."
"Then take her home to them, and tell them to
give her a good whipping. St. Michael and St. Cathe-
rine and St. Margaret ! " repeated Baudricourt, cutting
his bread with a blow. " Go home and spin and mind
your sheep, and don't come to me with your archangels
and saints and coronations! TeU her father and
mother to give her a good whipping ! "
HE winter air of the conrtyard did not
cool Dnrand's bnming chagrin at having
taken a step which brought a young pu-
celle to such treatment. The peasants of
the Meuse valley had never learned to cringe to a
feudal lord, but Robert de Baudricourt represented
the king among them. Durand took Jeanne by the
elbow to lead her away. Her father's resentment,
which had followed him all day, now approached and
hung over him. Domremy and Vaucouleurs were
almost the extreme boundaries of his world. He was
angry; yet nothing kills faith in the unseen like ridicule.
Durand could see the quaking of Jeanne's figure,
and hear the indrawing of her breath, as she wept in
her wrappings. Twilight lingered here when darkness
lay in the lap of the valley. The soldier who had led
them into the ch§,teau could also see her going with
bowed head from Baudricourt's abuse. He looked
after her with a puzzled snule, but Dnrand's compas-
sion was like a woman's.
"Come home to Eoyer's house, pucelle; they are
ready to give thee good treatment there. I blame
20 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC
myself for this. Sudi a tTiing sliall never happen to
While he talked at her side, Jeanne turned to the
chapel which stood facing Baudricourt's quarters.
Durand followed her, his shoes clumping on the flags.
He was afraid Baudricourt woidd send some curt
envoy after the maid and hale her out, and was glad
that the open door showed little except a dusky in-
terior. But when Jeanne saw there was no light, she
turned and followed some steps which led down into
a crypt. Durand felt along the wall as he clumsily
kept on her track, and descended to a corridor which
ended beside an arched door. The ciypt chapel had
floor and vaulted ceiling of white stone, and he could
distinguish small carved faces set like rosettes around
the supporting pillars. Walls swam in dimness, but
there was a cup of crimson light on the altar between
the statues. Jeanne was kneeling before it. That
was always her way. Aveline had told him that
Jeanne used to leave her playmates dancing by Ber-
mont spring, or listening to some delicious tale like
" The Red Children,"— as red as melted iron,— and slip
up to Bermont chapel to pray. " And what was there
in Bermont chapel?" said Aveline. "Nothing but a
painted wooden image of the Virgin and CMld, the
Child holding a bird in his hand."
Durand stood by the door and waited until his
charge was ready to rise up and come away. As for
himself, he felt more like swearing than praying.
They were both silent as they went down hill ; but
when they reached the square before Royer's house he
THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'AEC 21
"We must get up early in the morning to start to
" Yes, you go back, compare ; Aveline expects you ;
but I have to stay here until Eobert de Baudricourt
sends me into France."
" He ■will never do it, Jehannette."
" Yes, he -will do it ; I must go to him until he does
"You shall not stay here among strangers, to be
railed at by the Captain of Vaucouleurs j that I -will
not myself allow."
" Compare, I have to go into France. Robert de
Baudricourt will be obliged to send me. St. Catherine
and St. Margaret hiave told me that."
"Jehannette, come home; I do not know how to
face Jacques and Isabel."
"You must let me be, compere; I cannot tui'u
Merely walking in her company seemed to infect
him again with her visions; every step took him
farther from Baudricourt's contempt.
" Royer's wife has a good welcome ready for you ;
but Jacques d'Arc shaU never say I brought his maid
here and left her to shift for herself. I am obliged to
go home, but I wiU come back again in a week."
" Tell my father," said Jeanne, quickly, " it will be
no use to follow me."
"I shall keep myself out of the way of Jacques
d'Arc till this business is settled."
" But if Aveline sends him word he wiU surely fol-
" I do not think she will send him word, Jehannette.
22 THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'AKC
My opinion is,"-added Durand, under his breath, " she
has no word to send."
In a week Durand Laxart came back to "Vaucouleurs,
and found Jeanne spinning by the side of Royer's wife.
The shadows were heavier under her eyes, and the
oval of her face had grown more wan.
" She is the best pucelle I ever saw," declared her
guardian to Durand, after taking him into another
room and setting food before him. "All day she is
either spinning with me or on her knees in the chapel."
" Has she been to messire the captain again 1 "
" My faith, yes ! And I never thought to stand by
and hear such railing as he put upon her. But to-day
he came down here with the priest and a censer, and
they exorcised her for an evil spirit. Par examp' ! "
cried Royer's wife ; " did you ever hear of such a thing
as exorcising a child like that for an evil spirit ! "
" She is no more under possession than is my bap-
tized infant," said Durand, with strong disapproval.
" And that messire the cur6 saw when he bade her
approach. She fell on her knees, and went so across
the stone floor, and she laughed in their faces, the dear
child, at their foolishness."
" Have you heard whether messire the captain will
send her into France ? "
" He says he will not, and he will have her punished
if she comes up to the chS,teau to trouble him again.
But my husband has told me a messenger went out
several days ago to the dauphin at Chinon, giving in-
formation about her, and asking what shall be done
THE DATS OP JEANNE D'AEC 23
Dnrand felt his heart sink, for in every Christian
realm the fate of accused sorcerers was the stake.
He did not talk much with Jeanne, but sat and
looked at her silently. The week had changed her.
She noticed her surroundings less. She was waiting
with all her body and spirit. Durand felt hurt that
she did not inquire about the baby ; all the children
in Domremy and Bury-la-C6te used to hang about her
petticoat, she took such pleasure iu them.
Next morning he walked the streets of Vaucouleurs
instead of going to chat in Royer's shop. Vaucouleurs
was his great capital He never expected to see any-
thing finer. The gray-tUed roofs were more venerable
to him here than the same kind of roofs in Bury-la-
Cote. There was a white glare from the white soil
which smote on the eyes even when the sun did not
shine out. Beyond the western wall he could see the
Meuse in its meadows, and then the long ridge beyond,
bearing up sear vineyards which in a month would
begin to quicken with vines.
On the terrace of street where Durand clumped
aimlessly along some public theme fermented. The
air had a mild and springlike touch, and people came
out of their houses. He saw through an open window
half a dozen or more maids sitting close together with
their little wheels, and caught the names St. Catherine
and St. Margaret.
He saw two women with children in their arms meet
on a comer, and nod white caps, as one of them pointed
toward Royer's house.
The street was choked with huge wagons woven of
unpeeled boughs into the shape of enormous baskets,
24 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC
oblong and rounded, heaped with charred sticks.
Three horses with bells on their high yokes were
hitched in a line before each load. The charcoal-
burners wore bringing in the product of their labor,
thankful to be within closed gates, safe from wanton
despoiling. They marched bareheaded beside their
horses, cracking their whips, each with a bla«k smock
over his woolens descending almost to his wooden
shoes. The first man encountered a group in mid-
street that the touch of a horse's nose did not scatter.
He shouted warning, but the foremost horse was will-
ing to halt, and yoke after yoke ceased swaying and
filling the narrow track with melody. The drivers all
came up open-mouthed when they had rested a few
minutes ; for the talk was about raising the siege of
Orleans, and taking the dauphin to be crowned at
Rheims, and a maid who wanted to be sent into
" She says she must go," declared a mercer, who had
his shears hanging to his neck by a cord. He also
was smocked for his labor behind the counter. "I
never heard anything so strange as a young pucelle
wanting to leave her family to go where there is so
"There will be more bloodshed, and one will not
have to go far to see it," said a man who carried a
quill behind his ear, and wore instead of the blouse
or smock a short, close garment called a hardy-coat,
buttoned its entire length in front. " If the dauphin
could get soldiers from Scotland, what port is there
open to land them in?" He moved his large, light
eyes from face to face.
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 25
"What pueelle wants to leave her family and go
into France?" inquired one of the charcoal-burners.
"It is a young pueelle from Domremy," answered a
balcer, pushing his white cap awry with the back of
his hand. " The women in Vaucouleurs say there is
nothing to be spoken against her. She pays no atten-
tion to anything but her prayers and her spinning.
She wants Messire de Baudricourt to send her to the
"Is there not an old saying," asked the charcoal-
burner, " that a maid from the march of Lorraine is
to save France ? "
The men all turned as if surprised by an echo. The
old saying had been many times repeated that week
in Vaucouleurs. The man in the hardy-coat took the
quUl from behind his ear, and poised it as if about to
write his words on the faces of the others. He was a
distinguished person : he could both read and write.
Writing legal papers was his business; and though
among nobles his calling was despised, it gave him
some authority in a remote place like Vaucouleurs.
" I believe she is the maid. It wiU be as little as the
town of Vaucouleurs can do to fit her out for the
"En nom De!" exclaimed a smith, "if the saints
send her into France, let her go ! Here is the fist that
wiU shoe her horse free of charge."
" It is Messire de Baudricourt who will decide that,"
said the mercer ; " but I have good gray Flemish cloth
on my shelves."
" There she goes to the chapel crypt again to pray,"
said the baker. Dough stuck to the nail of his point-
26 THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'ARC
ing finger. " They let her in at the fortress gate for
that. She goes three times every day."
They all stood silent, watching Jeanne ascend a
flight of stone stairs to the winding track by which
the chateau was reached. Her shrinking, muftted
figure had already taken on for them a kind of re-
As she turned the wall she came face to face with
a middle-aged knight. He wore no armor except
a heart-shaped cuirass or breastplate buckled with
leather straps over the front of his close-fitting habit ;
a sword hung from his belt. Jeanne held her woolen
covering by one hand under her chin ; not a bit of her
hair showed. The face, with its clear eyebrows and
delicate, round-lipped mouth, was so sweet and deter-
mined that if he had not taken up its cause before he
must have been moved to do so now.
"Pardon, pucelle," said the knight. He put his
hand on his cap. " I am Jean de Metz, seignior of
Novelopont, one of Captain de Baudricourt's ofi&cers.
I know why you are here, and I would willingly help
"Messire, everybody in Vaucouleurs knows why I
am here. I am waiting for Robert de Baudrieourt to
send me into France. I must reach the dauphin before
Easter, if I wear off my legs to my knees."
Her low voice stirred De Metz like a call to arms.
He stood looking at her with his cap off. His hair,
betwixt black and gi-ay in color, was cut straight
around below his ears, and being of a strong growth,
flared outward. The dazzling light of the uplands
printed benevolent wrinkles about his eyes. His chin
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D-ABC 27
£tood forward even when he lowered it toward his
breast, and it gave force to his smile and words.
" Pncelle, I will, on my own venture, take you to the
dauphin. Messire the captain will not forbid that"
" Messire de Metz, I thank you for your good will ;
but I must be sent from the governor of my own
country. Bitterly have I learned that. My counsel
have bid me to wait"^
" And who are your counsel ! "
" St. Michael and St. Catherine and St Margaret"
" Do you hear their actual voices, puceUe f "
"Yes, many, many times. But it is when the church
beUs ring that they speak to me clearest"
" But how can you hear voices through a clamor of
The reticence of one whose dearest secret is touched
appeared in Jeanne's face. Her eyes pitied Iiitti for
"The voices are clearest then," she repeated- "They
often come among Christians who do not hear or see
De Metz had never served in the dissolute rabble of
Southern soldiers and mercenaries. He thought it
was his own softness which melted before her. Yet
he realized aU the enormous force carried by a person
with one idea.
"When you go to the dauphin," he offered, "I will
be your knight, and commander of your party."
" Messire knight, you have ^ven me comfort ; but
I have no comfort to send to Bobert de Baudricourt.
Tell him that my counsel have told me this day the
French have suffered a defeat near Orleans, and it
28 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC
might have been prevented. And worse will come
unless I am allowed to do what I am sent to do."
She made him a peasant's reverence, and went on
up the hiU ; and he went down, resting his left hand
on his sword-hilt, and staring at the stony soil. The
walls made a sheltered reservoir in which air settled
warm from the sun.
De Metz passed the staircase which Jeanne had
ascended, and winding on, he came to a narrow turn
between houses. A young man whom the knight did
not know stepped before him there. The young man
pulled off his cap. If he had not been well dressed in
a close hardy-coat belted around his hips, and the
same kind of long cloth trunk-hose and leather shoes
as De Metz himself wore, the knight might have taken
him for a bold footpad. Yet at second glance he had
a handsome young face. He was well made and he
was blue-eyed, an unusual thing in rugged Lorraine.
"Messire, I want to speak a word with you," said
the young man.
" Speak," responded De Metz. He was at first not
inclined to stop, but he did stop.
" Messire, I know you to be the knight of Novelo-
pont. I am a free-born man. My father has a holding
of land in NeufchS.teau. Before my time we were
better than innkeepers. My name is Bertraaid de
Poulengy. You were talking yonder with a young
De Metz glanced backwai-d as if the shadows of
Jeanne and himself were still standing by the wall.
" Do you know her ? " he inquired. " I thought she
was from Domremy village, not Neufch§,teau."
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 29
"She is from Domremy village, messire. I am
going to tell you the truth. I was a fool. When the
raiders came two years ago, and the people were driven
from Domremy to Neuf chateau, her family lodged with
us. You may not know it, messire the knight, but
there is no one like her in the world. She helped my
mother when we were thronged, and she was so humble
and so kind that even before they went home again I
began to think I should die if I could not get her.
But we were both young, and my father obliged me to
wait awhile before he made the proposals. Messire,
her family were willing, but she would not marry at
all." He hung down his head.
"Never mind, my lad; never mind. There are
plenty of maids for wives in the world. This one has
set her heart on other things."
" That is not it, messire. I was like a crazy man.
Some said she was so timid and modest that if I took
oath she had given me her promise she would not dare
deny it, and everything would go well after we were
once married. I thought about it day and night.
Then I went to her mother, and her mother was so
tei-rifled by the pucelle's talk about going into France
that we both thought such a sin might be forgiven.
So I went to Toul and took oath before a magistrate."
"My faith, you were a persistent man," said De
Metz, with contempt.
"Yes, you wiU find me that," answered Bertrand,
lifting his head. " Messire, she went to Toul herself,
and on her oath denied it. It was a hard thing for a
young pucelle to do. I put that mortification upon
her. There is no excuse for me. I was a fool to think
30 THE DAYS OP JEAIfNE D'AEC
I could get her. Messire, I want to be her squire or
servant if she is sent to Chinon to the dauphin."
" Do yon think a man who has perjured himself is
a fit man to be squire and servant to a good maid ? "
The boy's appealing eyes took all the sternness out
of De Metz's question.
"Messire, if you had ever been— that way, you
would not judge me at my worst."
"But if you were in her party you might grow
worse— that way," suggested the knight.
" I can never think again, messire, that if she would
take a husband she would ever look at me. But even
my father and mother understand I have to go to the
wars. You are older than I am, messire, and perhaps
you have wife and children ? "
" No, I have none," said Jean de Metz.
" I have taken another oath," said Bertrand, " and
this oath is a true one. I will follow her if she goes
to the wars, and take aU. the care of her that a man
may. She is more than wife and children and friends
and home to me. Messire, she is religion to me now."
Though De Metz's experience extended little further
than Bertrand's, he dimly recognized the cry of that
age in the boy's declaration. It was the' exalting of a
virgin, chivalry and religion strangely met. Political
divisions had resulted from it. Dominican friars, who
opposed the dogma of the immaculate conception, had
been expelled from the court of the late king ; while
Franciscans, who zealously upheld the dogma, became
identified with the loyal party. The Duke of Bur-
gundy protected the Dominicans, and they turned
with him to the English cause.
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ABC 31
"I will do this mucli, my lad," said De Metz; "I
will recommend you to messire the captain. But a
man makes his own reputation in arms. Have you a
horse ? "
"Yes; I came here on a horse of my own. My
father gave me enough to fit me out. There is no
other child at home."
" That is hard for your father and mother."
" But they were willing to let me go."
" Did you hear of the maid so far down the valley ?"
" No ; I did not know she was here until I came to
Vaucouleurs. But her fanuly have been afraid for
two years that she would go into France."
The news was spreading, however, as far down the
valley as Domremy. Dnrand Laxart's wife got down
from a cart, and took her child from the hands of the
neighbor who had given her the hft. Her jincle,
Jacques d'Arc, came from the fagot-stack to meet her.
He had gentle, dark eyes and a face of lovable keen-
ness. The winter day was so mild that he had been
at work bareheaded, and his yellow-ivory skin showed
hundreds of little cross-lines enmeshing his small
mouth, which was like his daughter's, with a sweet
and wistful expression. This look changed to appre-
hension as he carried Aveline's baby in.
The house was a shed-shaped stone cottage with the
roof sloping from a height on one side half-way to the
ground on the other. At one comer of the low side
Jeanne's little window looked directly at the church.
Aveline noticed the church while she followed her
imcle. The door was partly charred, and there were
32 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC
patches in the roof. A new low tower replaced the
high square tower which had been there before the
Burgnndians swept the valley.
Aveline's small forehead was drawn with pnzzled
anxiety, and it tightened as Jacques d'Arc inquired :
" But where is Jehannette ? "
She hurried before him into the house, and looked
about as if she must find the answer there. The
earthen floor and the stone mantel were white. There
was a wrought-iron plate to keep the back of the fire-
place from crumbling with heat, and it glowed rosy
behind the fagots. Isabel Komde's andirons, which
were her pride and inheritance,— three feet high, with
cups at the top for brewing posset, and hooks in front
for bars, — held the fagots in place and some meat sus-
pended from a bar roasting for dinner. The father
had watched Jeanne's head rise year by year and over,
top these andirons. He remembered more than one
night when she had slept on the fioor before the great
guardians of the hearth, giving up the daughter's
chamber to refugees made houseless by raiders. With
the self-control of habit, he stooped and turned the meat
before laying Aveline's precious bundle in her arms.
" Here is your child ; now where is mine ? "
" My uncle Jacques, is Jehannette not here at all ? "
persisted Aveline, turning her head like a hen.
" How could she be here and also in Bury-la-C6te ?
We lent her to you," accused Jacques.
" Did not my husband bring her home more than a
week ago 7 "
" She has not been seen in this house since she went
to nurse you."
THE DAYS OF JEANNE IVAEC 33
Aveline began to cry.
" Then it is true that Dnrand Laxart went to Vau>
conlenrs the first time as -well as the second time. I
heard them talking abont Vauconleurs while I was
asleep, but he told me he was going to Neufch^teau
and would bring Jehannette home. She herself told
me nothing. I thought she wanted to see her mother."
Jacques set his hands in his thin hair. His face
bleached while she spoke, nostrils and jaw-lines show-
ing for a moment as in a death's-head.
" My child has gone into France ! Durand Laxart
has taken my child to Vauconleurs, and let her go into
Prance ! "
He flung the door open, and ran toward the Meuse,
his wisp-like legs threatening to snap with the weight
of his wooden shoes. Aveline, rolling in her short
petticoat, ran after him, holding the baby, and making
audible noises as her tears increased and her breath
The ice was gone from the edges of the Meuse, and
a practised eye might note reviving life in the flat
islands. Near the bridge was a deep pool, and two
women had set their box-shaped washing-tables, open
at one side, in the water's edge, and were kneeling at
their labor. The sound of their paddles could be
heard along the valley, as they beat and turned and
dipped and beat again the coarse, dark woolens of
their families. One was a large-framed woman ; she
wore a white cap on her anbum-and-gray head. The
other was a girl, and though the winter sun shone
directly in her face, she kneeled bareheaded. She had
a countenance which seemed to shine with rapturous
34 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC
contentment, and impressed the beholder as purely-
blonde. It was afterward a surprise to see that her
hair was black and her skin reaUy dark, and that it
was only a whiteness of expression.
" How do you get along, Mengette ? " inquired the
" It is nearly clean now. I wish I could put Choux
in the river and wash him."
" He grows fouler as he grows older," remarked the
woman. " This water, is it not cold for thee ? "
" No colder for me than for you, godmother Romee,"
answered the girl. A woman kept her own name in
marriage, and the wife of Jacques d'Arc was always
called Isabel Romee of Vauthon.
"But I am hardy. I can cleanse woolens at the
river when most other women keep the house. I
would rather spread garments on the bushes when
snow flies than have them lying foul."
They heard a cart rolling over the bridge, and looked
up. It was a stranger's head passing along the para-
pet. Cart-wheels were not so startling as the sudden
clatter of horsemen. Every villager lived ready to
seize his goods and di-ive his flocks for safety up in
" That was Jehannette's way also," said Mengette ;
"we have had many a good time bleaching clothes
together at the river. Her cousin keeps her too long,
godmother. Why don't you command her home
again ? "
"We foolishly promised Durand; but I am going
to-morrow to see her myself."
"Are you going in the cart?"
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 35
" No ; the lads must get more fagots in while this
weather holds good. I am going by the hiU path."
" Then let me go with you, godmother. I can set
Choux's dinner for him on the table, and we can reach
home by twilight."
" It will be very good to have you," said Isabel, and
their paddles brought echoes from the hills opposite.
" I will ten Aveline that when her little maid grows
up she will find how hard it is to lend her and doubly
lend her out of the house. Jehannette must come
home with us ; it wiU not do any longer."
She heai'd a noise in the alluvial hoUow, and turned,
to face Aveline and Jacques and the calamity.
Isabel struggled to her feet.
" Where is Jehannette ? " she demanded.
" I am going to Vaucouleurs," answered Jacques.
Isabel flew at her husband, and caught, his wrists,
falling on her knees. She begged him not to teU her
that her child was gone. Her bare red arms and
hands, and her face burned by many a day in the
fields, lost their strength in a moment, and hung on
the slighter man. Jacques held her against him as
she kneeled, hushing her cries, and straightening her
cap, while he formed his lips piteously for an ungiven
" I am going to Vaucouleurs," he repeated ; " I am
going to saddle the horse. Pierre and Jacquemine will
stay here with thee."
" Oh, Aveline, it is not true that my child has gone
into France ! You have not let her poison our old age
and kill us ! We lent her to you in a time of need.
Give me back my Jehannette ! "
36 THE DAYS OP JEANNE IVAEC
Aveline, suffering for her husband's act, hid her face
from Isabel, and mourned aloud. Mengette helped
Isabel to stand up, and supported her on one side.
That serene look which had made Mengette Jeanne's
favorite did not pass from her face with the dripping
of tears. The quick and helpful little creature put her
nervous strength to the mother's sagging body, and
when the wretched procession was in the house Men-
gette returned to finish the clothes and carry them
away to spread. The blow was heavy upon her.
Mengette had not much in the world which she could
afford to lose. She was a stepchild of fortune, but
she had always cheated the sour dame by her own
temperament, and got the best out of everything.
Jeanne had slept with her in her own bed, and she
looked back now at their simple talks about life and
religion and angels. Neither girl knew that maids
usually talked more about men than about angels. It
made Mengette very comfortable to be with Jeanne.
But lately she knew her friend had gone beyond her.
She could not herself understand how any maid could
feel impelled toward war ; and as to being spoken to
by saints, Mengette prayed that such a thing might
never happen to her. She could take care of the house
and her geese, and sew and spin, and tend Choux as
long as it pleased Heaven to let him last ; but if a saint
had spoken to her out of the clouds she must have died
Jacques d'Arc was on his horse galloping to Vau-
couleurs, and Isabel lay prostrate in the cupboard bed,
with Aveline to wait on her. The lonely little worker
kept to her double task at the river. At noon it was
THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'AEC 37
gi'owing colder, and her heart was heavy. The plea-
sure of washing in the villages was in the meeting of
many women, and chattering and laughter and news-
telling between the thump, thump of the clothes-beater.
When everything was wrung out she piled the large
pannier up until it towered over her head, then she
lifted it to her back, thrusting her arms into the plaited
handles. Mengette was obliged to steady herself care-
fully to keep from tipping backward. As she tm^ned
her face to the ascent she saw Jeanne's two brothers
coming over the bridge with a cart-load of fagots.
Oxen drew the cart, moving almost silently between
parapets where it was impossible to run aside or rebel
against the head-yoke. The labors which belonged to
other seasons were done then as men had opportunity
to do them. Sowing and reaping, tying up vines,
burning charcoal, and bringing in fuel, had not the
old regularity. Though the vaUey of the Meuse was
remote from the track of the invaders, it was the direct
route between the two portions of Burgundy. And
there were armed bands gathering in all parts of the
kingdom, mercenaries who had shaken 'off military
service and really taken to the trade of robbers. Some
of them yet wore the badge of the Armagnaes, as the
dauphin's party was called, and others wore the badge
of the English. These wolves of war penetrated everj'-
where. What Domremy had suffered from the Bur-
gundians was never forgotten.
Pierre walked ahead of Jacquemine, cracking the
whip. It was always Pierre and Jacquemine, never
Jacquemine and Pierre, though Jacquemine was the
eldest of the family. Jean, the second brother, was
38 THE DAYS OF JEANNE IVAEC
already married and settled in his mother's honse at
Vauthon. He seemed no longer to be of the family,
for his wife's people had absorbed him; Pierre and
Jacquemiae were the sons at home. Pierre was a
large fellow with rich, dark, rosy color, and gray eyes
that laughed inside their black lashes. He held his
head back, and his cap usually slipped to one side upon
it. The girls in Domremy liked him, but he was fonder
of his sister than of any of them. He was two years
older than Jeanne, and Jacquemine was four years
older than he was. Yet he could lift Jacquemine up
by the girdle and smock; and though Mengette had
little to complain of in the world, it disturbed her to
have Pierre do this. The helpless, wrathful look on
Jacquemine's face as he struck and kicked against the
indignity aroused her. Jacquemine had always come
to her to talk about his troubles, which consisted of
slights put upon him. There seemed to be too little
of his dai'kly freckled, sandy, and wizened person.
He wept as easily as a girl, and this wrung Mengette's
heart and first attracted her protection. A betrothal
had been arranged between them by the two families
before her father and mother died, but it was under-
stood that they were not to marry while Choux lived.
They would not have enough to support a family with
Choux also to provide for, though by themselves they
might be fairly prosperous. Jacquemine's father was
to give him a field and some cattle. Mengette had a
house and garden and a flock of geese. She herded
the geese herself, and exchanged their feathers for
wool; and being a thrifty maid, gathered her own
fagots,— for Choux would not work,— and weeded and
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 39
tied vines in vineyards whenever the chance offered.
Besides, Mengette had the caps and petticoats her
mother wore, waiting in a chest until she should need
them. She had carried them with her when the vil-
lagers fled to Neufch^teau from the Burgundians.
Jacquemine sulked across the bridge without seeing
her until Pierre called down a good day. She made
a sign for them to halt, and ascended with her load,
dreading to speak her news, yet obliged to spare Isabel.
The oxen swayed to one side, the foremost one running
obstinately down the bank. Pierre had some trouble
to bring them to a stand beside a wall without up-
setting the load. Jaequemine waited at the end of the
bridge until Mengette struggled up to him. He did
not reach down his hand to her as Pierre would have
done : for Pierre was always quick to notice when a
pannier was heavy, and to help a maid, especially his
sister and Mengette ; but Jaequemine seldom noticed
anything except his own feelings. He was the kind
of man that women wait on ; masculine strength was
not expected in him.
Jaequemine was stung because she rested the bottom
of the pannier on the parapet and waited until Pierre
came back. If Mengette had anything to say, he was
the person to say it to. This individual resentment
entered his grief when he heard the news.
"I always knew Jehannette would disgrace the
family," he exclaimed, coloring darkly; "if you do
not want to marry me after this, Mengette, I shall say
" She has not disgraced the family," retorted Men-
gette, with heat. "She is better than I am. You
40 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC
ought to be ashamed of saying she has disgraced the
Jaequemine's eyes filled with tears. " You can take
her part against me if you want to." And he turned
his back and sobbed. Mengette herself wept again,
understanding and pardoning his misery. But Pierre
stood without a sound. He did not hear them, or
Mengette knew he would have shaken Jacquemine over
the parapet. Rings of dark hair had been formed
about his forehead by the heat of walking. He held
the whip across his shoulder, and stood stunned, taking
the news into his mind. The long stretch of road and
meadow and hiU rising toward Neufch§,teau was be-
hind him. The January sky was soft and gray with
gathering clouds. One could hear the wind begin to
sing up in the leafless oak woods where Jeanne used
to run about with him.
He spoke out huskily :
"Does anybody know that she has yet gone into
" No ; but it is certain she has gone as far as Vau-
couleurs. Aveline says Durand Laxart is in Vaucou-
leurs now ; and she heard them talking about it. Your
father is already on the road," repeated Mengette.
" I am going with my sister," determined Pierre.
The habit of his life was first to assert itself. Prom
the time Jeanne was old enough to run in the fields,
Pierre had run after her and let her dictate the course.
" Your father told your mother that Jacquemine and
you would stay with her."
" Jacquemine can stay, but I am going with my sis-
THE DAYS OF JEANNE B'AEC 41
" Go, go ! " said Jacquemine, showing an indignant
face over his shoulder in the act of wiping it with his
sleeve. " By the time all the family have run off but
me, my father and mother will find who is really a
child to them."
"But, Pierre," pleaded Mengette, "godmother Romee
is struck down in her bed. If you go now it may be
the death of her. She said to Aveline, * You have let
my child poison our old age and kill us.' "
" Go, Pierre ! " repeated Jacquemine, fiercely ; " I
can do all the heavy labor, and take care of the family
and the cattle in case the Burgundians come again.
Run after the Armagnacs, you and Jehannette."
" We will," responded Pierre.
" But wait, Pierrelo, until your father comes back,'
still pleaded Mengette ; " he may find her and bring
" He will not find her ; he should have sent me."
" Yes ; he should have sent big Pierre," venomously
He snatched the whip, and ran clattering on to start
the oxen. They were not used to his guidance, and
swayed in a zigzag course from waU to waU, while he
cracked the whip and let his trouble out in noisy abuse
of them. Mengette lifted her pannier and trudged
directly after him. She was a pucelle of spirit, but
Jacquemine's rages always woke her motherly com-
passion, like the helpless suffering of a child. She felt
it necessary to quiet him before he went into the house
and increased the disapproval which he had long re-
Pierre sat down on the parapet of the bridge and
42 THE DATS OF JEANNE D'AEC
stared at the washing-place, where open-sided box-
tables and paddles yet remained. The Meuse curled
about its islands and rippled among the naked bushes.
He was not sure that it was a calamity which had
fallen on the family, but it was certainly a grief. To
be entirely separated from his sister was out of nature
and not to be endured. He had a vague and careless
knowledge of Jeanne's visions and of what she intended
to do if she went into France. Pierre was not spirit-
ual-minded. He had almost to be flogged to his
prayers when he was younger. He enjoyed the world ;
but more than everything else he enjoyed loving.
Jeanne would draw him after her as certainly as the
bell-sheep drew the flock. But when he had thought
awhile he decided not to set out on foot along the hills
to Vaucouleurs without seeiug his mother, as he would
be obliged to do if he went at once. He would not
forsake his mother while she lay prosti-ated by the
loss of Jeanne. But he had a conviction that his
father would never bring Jeanne back.
And when Jacques d'Ai'C reached Vaucouleurs he
did not find his daughter. He was the last man to
enter the gates that night, haggard and splashed with
hard riding ; but a strange experience met him there.
He had scarcely mentioned the maid he was seeking
when a lantern was lifted by a passer-by, and men
came together in a bunch like bees to hum about her.
She was as well known in Vaucouleurs as the captain
there. They escorted him like a guard of honor to
" Here is the father of the maid," they said to Royer's
wife, when they had struck on the door and she opened
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 43
it. " We have told him that she has gone to Nancy
with her cousin and the knight of Novelopont, being
sent for by the sick Duke of Lorraine."
Jacques leaned his head on his hands and listened
to Royer's wife when he was in the house. It was
plain that the people in this part of the country be-
lieved Jeanne ought to go into France.
"But she shall come home," said Jacques, feeling
the tightness at his heart relax, since she was gone in
the opposite direction, and he might yet intercept her.
"She is my little maid. As to raising sieges and
crowning the dauphin, we have a hearth for her in
Domremy, and she was always contented there until
these troubles grew so bad. Her mother is struck
down in bed on account of her. If the saints sent her
into France, I wiU say the saints have little regard for
family ties. We have no other maid : our Catherine
is dead. From the time Jehannette could clip her
little hand around one of my fingers, she would toddle
at one of my legs and Pierrelo at the other. I say she
shall not go ; and she was always obedient. What !
would I let my innocent child go among men-at-ai-ms,
and be spoken to by any vile follower of the camp ?
I would kill her before she should suffer such things."
He waited several days in Vaucouleurs, wrenched
from his accustomed places, and divided between
Jeanne and Isabel. The journey was an education to
a peasant who had never stirred before, except from
his native village to Domremy, and afterward to Neuf-
ehS.teau. He felt the pulse of the world, and realized
the growth of his child. But he was more than ever
determined not to give her up; and when the strain
44 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC
of liis absence grew unendurable, lie saddled bis horse
in baste, and said to Royer's wife :
"I am going back to Isabel, and Pierre will come
in my place. TeU Jebannette I command her borne
with her brother. TeU her that I forbid her to go into
France. The curse of the disobedient will faU on her
if she goes. My maid is a good maid, and I blame the
people of Vaucouleurs for encouraging her in this
strange desire. Her innocent dreams about angels
and saints, what would they avail her among bloody
men-at-arms ? Her place is at home with her mother
But before Pierre reached Vaucouleurs the dauphin's
messenger from Chinon had galloped in, and Jeanne
Jacques's horse fell lame. He led it and walked,
stumping among the stones in his sabots, and reaching
Bury-la-C6te late in the night. There he slept in the
house of Aveline's mother, and borrowed another
horse. But the delay made Pierre too late.
It was a poor, powerless maid who threw herself
across a bench and cried aloud on her knees when she
returned from Nancy, and was told that her father
had been seeking her, and the messenger from Chinon
was ab'eady there.
" Oh, my father, my dear father ! How can I en-
dure not to see my father and mother and |Pierrelo
again ! But I must go — I must go ! "
Jeanne ran from the house up the stone stairs lead-
ing to the chapel crypt. It was her last heartbreak
before the altar, weeping to be sent, and weeping be-
cause she must be sent.
THE DATS OF JEANNE D'AEC 45
There was excitement both in the chJiteau and the
town. Nobody in Vaucouleurs ^except Baudricourt
had doubted that the dauphin would send for the maid.
Candles burned all night in the shop where her outfit
was finished, and the people of Vaucouleurs, who bore
the expense of it, looked in crowds at the busy work-
men as a public spectacle.
" The maid is to ride forth in man's apparel," said
women to one another, in consternation. " She says
she has been counseled so to do. Is that decent ? "
" I call it decent myself," decided a dame in authority.
" What would she do with petticoats astride of a horse,
riding a hundred and fifty leagues, and having no
woman of her party ? Even messire the captain had
nothing to say against it when she begged for the
habit of a man."
"Messire de Baudi-icourt has changed his opinion
of her since the dauphin's messenger came in with
news of the defeat near Orleans."
"Yes; they say the maid knew it, and sent him
word the very day the battle was fought."
In Vaucouleurs Jeanne was the maid who out of the
march of Lorraine was to deliver France. She was to
have a knight and a squire, two common soldiers as
their servants, an archer, and the dauphin's messenger,
as her escort. Durand Laxart himself pledged pay-
ment for a horse. It would be a hard ride to Chinon
—from this northeast corner of the ancient realm a
hundred and fifty leagues diagonally southwestward
across France. The party would have to avoid cities
held by the English, and slip between marauding bands.
They had five large rivers to cross. Wherever they
46 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AKC
dared use the old Roman roads good speed could be
made ; but much of the journey lay across trackless
spaces full of the dangers of war.
It was the first Sunday in Lent, and people flocked
to the chateau early in the morning to see her start.
The maid had been brought there by Royer's wife and
other women, to be dressed for her undertaking.
Every citizen of Vaucouleurs raised his cap in the
air and cheered as she came out into the court, a sup-
ple, easily moving ereature with a radiant face, in the
suit of a man-at-arms, the jacket and tunic of gray
cloth, the cuirass of leather thongs. Her long hose,
cut and shaped from the cloth, were laced over her
body-garment, and strong leather shoes were on her
feet. The women had cut her hair off about her ears,
and put the cap of a man-at-arms on her head.
The horses were standing ready. The men of her
party waited her mounting. There was nothing male
about her. Though she looked smaller than in her
maid's dress, no person said to another, " She is like a
boy." She was simply the maid dressed to ride like a
" What have you there, pucelle ? " inquired Baudri-
court, meeting her, and taking her packet to fasten
behind the saddle.
" My red peasant dress, messire the captain."
" What would you do with your peasant dress on a
journey to court ? "
"Unfold it and look at it sometimes, messire. I
love what I wore in my home."
"Let come what may come of this," said Baudri-
court, " Heaven knows I don't understand these things,
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC 47
or how you should be able to tell me there was a battle
over some herrings and camp supplies near Orleans
the very day it was fought. But go your ways, pu-
celle my friend ; it is no longer my affair."
" Good-by, messire the captain ; have no fear for me.
I shaU. be taken care of."
" If you be not, God he knoweth it will be through
no f atdt of mine ; for every man in this party hath
sworn an oath to me to deliver you safely to the
Jeanne laughed as she put her hand on the bridle.
Her squire knelt to take her foot and lift her into the
*' I am a peasant," she said ; " I do not know any-
thing about mounting as grand dames mount. Let
me find a block of stone." Then she looked at the
squire with sudden scrutiny.
" Not this man, messire the captain. Has this man
also taken oath ? "
" I have," the young man answered, on his knees ;
" and this oath is a true one, maid of France."
Jeanne believed him. She had no grudge against
Bertrand de Poulengy. Her open, bright look ac-
cepted at once his atonement and their new relations.
She mounted the horse from the chS,teau steps. Her
eyes moved gratefully from face to face in the crowd.
She lifted her cap ; her forehead was white in the sun,
a girl's smooth forehead, with the hair blowing back
from it. Men and women felt their hearts swell.
This tender young being was going out to fight for
them. It was the strangest thing that had ever hap-
pened. For a hundred years France had given her
48 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC
sons to war, but now a daughter was demanded — a
maid was necessary for sacrifice. Jeanne leaned down
and grasped hand after hand. Women kissed her
fingers, which had not yet touched anything more
deadly than needle or spindle. She was their dear
child, whom they were themselves giving up.
"Good-by," said Jeanne, looking into her cousin
Durand's faithful face ; " I am glad you christened the
baby Catherine. Give my love to them aU— my father,
my mother, my Pierrelo— "
She touched the spurs to her horse, and the party
rode out through the gate, which is called to this day
the Gate of France.
HOUGH Jacquemine gave Mengette trou-
ble, the burden of her life was Choux.
Since the death of her father, Auguste
Ponlinet, and her mother, Marguerite Val-
las, she had lived in her house with this relative, whose
exact kinship could hardly be traced, yet who was
handed down as a charge. Choux was a humpbacked
creature, so old that age had given him up and de-
livered him again to the lithe activities of youth. He
seemed made of steel springs. His joints and muscles
did not sag when he walked. The skin was so tightly
stretched across the bones of his large features that it
scarcely wrinkled, but, deepening its brown, became
like mummy husk, with points of fire surviving in the
lively eyes. "What few shreds of hair he had clung in
forgotten strands to the skuU ; but these were seldom
seen, for Choux wore always a red woolen cap tied
under the chin like a woman's. This was as much a
part of him as the red sash girdling his clothes around
the middle. He wore it indoors and out, to mass and
to bed. When Mengette saw that the cap would have
to be renewed, she made another, and standing behind
50 THE DAYS OF JEAISOSTE D'ARC
the bencli while he ate, put it over the one he wore.
ChoTix let the strings hang down unheeded until he was
alone. Whatever became of the first cap, whether he
secretly burned it or buried it in the earth, it was never
seen again. One pair of clean strings soon appeared
under his chin, and Mengette drew a breath of relief.
But it was not so easy to get his garments from his
body. Choux's instinct was that an animal's covering
ought to shed naturally. He exhaled a hyena-lLke
odor, and when on a February day he sat by the
chimney, Mengette was thankful for its wide throat.
Domremy was not too sensitive to smells. Chickens
and geese lived in the streets, and manure-heaps
ripened beside the front doors. But public comfort
sometimes demanded that Choux should change his
clothes ; and the cure, Father Fronte, was then obliged
to labor with him. In his heart Choux despised the
offices of the church, but he stood in terror of having
its final protection denied him. When exhortations
and threats had availed, Mengette flew to the river
with his cast-off things. She had once anchored them
and let them freeze, and as often as she could afford
it she gave him an entire new outfit.
Choux had nothing except a high regard for himself,
and he had not labored in her lifetime. He often sat
bragging by the hour in the Widow Davide's wine-
shop. The Widow Davide, when a customer grew
noisy, would take him by the ear and lead him to the
door, and it was his part to grin and submit. Choux,
for more reasons than his tongue, was of tener led out
than any other man ; yet he never suffered it without
indignation and astonishment.
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC 61
He danced before the -wine-shop to show his con-
tempt for the Widow Davide, and made a tube of his
fists, trumpeting through it. His hump, as he tilted
and turned, gave him the high-shouldered appearance
of a hyena. He sang derisively about the wine she
sold. It was not fit for dogs— dogs would die of it, in
fact. He could marry the Widow Davide if he wished,
but who would marry a woman that sold such bad
" Myself," proclaimed Choux, slapping his breast, " I
was brought up on the best. Nothing is too good for
me. When I was of an age to marry, all the maids
of my village wanted me for a husband. I picked the
handsomest and richest, and when I was mamed my
wife did nothing but wait on me. She sold the last
goose of her flock to provide me for travel. I have
seen the world in my lifetime. I have been eastward
as far as Nancy, and westward as far as Bar-le-Duc ;
and if my wife had lived to work for me I might have
" He never was married in his life," the listeners told
one another, laughing. " The Champenois are great
boasters," was one of the proverbs of Lorraine. Choux
came out of Champagne.
He trumpeted through his hands, and danced again,
making a clatter on the hard road with his wooden
shoes. " I can whip any man in the wine-shop. And
this wiU be the case with me until I am ten years older.
Come out, Widow Davide, and take me again by the
ear. Have a care; it will not be the Burgundians
who next time set fire to your house ; the people of
Domremy are fond of me. I do not hft a hand for
52 THE DATS OF JEANNE D'AEG
myself. Everything is done for me. I am the flower
of the Meuse valley."
Through all his dancing and boasting the uncanny
creature carried the natural grace and airiness of the
Latin. An Anglo-Saxon boor, half tipsy before a
wine-shop, would have broken the door or the head of
its keeper. Choux's many words were to him what
action is to the more forceful race. As he capered in
the green winter twihght Mengette appeared at his
elbow, to drive him to shelter as she had already driven
her geese. He knew she had plenty of fagots in, and
the soup steaming before the fire. He enjoyed the life
he lived, and the homely night sound of dogs barking
" Regard me now. Widow Davide. My supper is
ready, with meat in the pot. Why do I ever come to
your wine-shop to be poisoned? It is because I pity
you. I am not above showing sympathy to a poor
woman without a man."
" Go home, Choux," said Mengette, pushing him.
" The Widow Davide may declare your sympathy costs
her more than I can pay with my spinning. There is
no meat in the pot. They laugh at you, but messire
the cure vrill not laugh if he sees you dancing longer
He was harder to chase into the house than an ob-
durate gander, and no spoon could fiU Choux's mouth
too fuU for talk. Mengette was glad when he turned
into his lair for the night. He slept in a room which
could be entered only from the garden ; and though
there was a chimney in it, he would not build himself
a fire or permit one to be lighted on his hearth. He
THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'ARC 53
liked darkness, and had none of the craving of age
But Mengette was glad of her own fagots when she
hooked the doors and opened her bed for the night.
The light seemed a protection from the voice which
talked with Choux in darkness, often alternating its
high boyish note with Choux's dehberate croak half
the night. Formerly when any neighbor came in
after nightfall Choux kept silent ; but since this un-
seen person, whom he called Valentin, had begun to
visit him, he was so insolently noisy that Mengette
dared not forecast what suspicions of sorcery he might
bring upon himself. She felt the shame of an accom-
plice in trying to endure this invisible creature, who
doubtless ought to be proclaimed and put out of the
house ; but Mengette shrunk from meddling in any
way with the imusual. She wanted the natui-al things
of life to surround and protect her from visions and
A hand was on the door, and she unfastened it to
admit Isabel Eom^e and Jacquemine.
The strong features of Jeanne's mother were thinned
as by long illness. She did not cast her eye around
with the usual oversight of Mengette's housekeeping.
The pots were in a neat row, and the hearth was scoured
white, and Jacquemine felt satisfaction in sitting down
before blazing fagots in this house where he was to be
master. All three were silent, speechless trouble driv-
ing Choux and his voice out of Mengette's mind.
Isabel put both hands over her face and leaned fox-.
" Pien-elo has come back from Vaucouleurs alone."
54: THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC
" I know it, godmotlier. I saw Mm between Dom-
remy and Greux when I was driving in the geese."
" My child has gone into France ! I shall never see
" She will come home sometime, godmother."
" No ; she wiU come home no more. I was sure of
that from the first; but when I saw him riding by
himself, it seemed that I had never known it. Did
Pierre teU you he brought a letter from her ? "
" He showed me a folded paper."
"Her father sits by the hearth, and will not turn
his head. The letter has been in his hand since the
cure read it to us. She had it written by a clerk at
Vaucouleurs, and put her own ci-oss-mark on it, ask-
ing forgiveness. My Jehannette is a good child. I
am myself to blame for urging her to man-iage. In
Vaucouleurs they have a reverence for her. Pierre
says she rode out in man's clothes, and all the people
wept. He would have gone on her track, but Durai^d^
Laxart did us this grace : he made Pierre coniSnome.
Jacques told you the Duke of Lorraine sent from Nancy
for Jehannette to pray for his recovery."
" She is a good puceUe, godmother. When she told
me the saints spoke to her, I could not help believing
Isabel shook her head. The vigorous woman, who
had little bent toward the superstition of her time, stiQ
denied Jeanne's visions. Saints certainly existed in,
a f ar-oif place called heaven, but it was not likely they
troubled themselves about anything in this world.
Isabel considered them vaguely benevolent, but much
taken up with tuning harps and singing. More than
THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'ARC 55
all, she felt it impossible that such holy beings should
stoop to members of her own family. In other ages
and countries heaven had communicated with blessed
martyrs: but St. Michael had never shown himself
in her garden behind the church; the cMld had
She wiped her face, raising it to meet what was yet
in store for her.
"And now we must lose Pierrelo. In the spring,
when the hermit friar sets out for Tours, the cur6 will
ask him to take Pierrelo to Jehannette. The lad can
hardly wait our consent."
Jacquemine sat with his knees braced together and
both hands resting on them. He now spoke out with
virtuous determination :
" Myself, I will never forsake my father and mother
to go to the wars, even with their consent."
" You ! " flashed Isabel, unreasonably resenting on
him the pain inflicted by those she loved better. " Yes ;
Jacquemine will stay at home and be a daughter to us."
Jacquemine burned scarlet, the blood submerging
his freckles and mounting into his sandy hair. Men-
gette resolved that when he became her husband she
would never make his eyes fill so piteously. She said
to him, "Sit closer to the fire, Jacquemine," and he
did so, feeling that his part was taken and comfort
offered him. She understood a home-keeping nature.
Mengette would not have left Domremy for the crown
of France. She loved to do the things she was accus-
tomed to do, and sometimes thought of Choux's death
almost with grief because, though it would permit her
marriage, it must change her employment. The longer
56 THE CAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC
she was betrothed to Jacquemine the more satisfaction
she took in the arrangement, though there was little
chance for courtship, Isabel being watchful, and Men-
gette having that discretion which is given to some
girls instead of mothers.
Isabel scarcely noticed them. She stared into space,
wondering at the nature that had outgrown her gui-
dance. It had been her delight to train Jeanne, the
child was so docile and so responsive to good. Jeanne's
eyes would fill with tears at sight of any suffering.
No wonder the troubles in France had swept her away.
"But where is she now?" exclaimed Isabel. "My
child is somewhere out in the night, with only men
around her ! " The room again resounded with un-
" No one would hurt Jehannette," declared Mengette.
"It is true the men were aH put under oath by the
Captain of Vaucouleurs to conduct her in safety, and
Pierrelo says they are very trusty men, and Bertrand
de Poulengy is of the party. But my heart has begun
to misgive me about Bertrand de Poulengy. One is
afraid of everything when one's child is no longer
under the roof. What is that?" demanded Isabel,
with sudden attention. " I hear a stranger in Choux's
Mengette swallowed her voice, and knew that her
heart was beating audibly. A rapid, boyish treble
rose higher and higher in Choux's chamber, and ended
in shrill laughter. Jacquemine drew closer to the
hearth, fading to ghastliness in the increased light,
and seeking Meugette's eye for companionship. He
had heard Choux boast in the wine-shop of this nightly
THK DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 57
visitor, and had laughed at it ; for then it was broad
daylight, and nobody believed a word Choux said.
Isabel turned to her goddaughter, who knew that
the moment for teUing the truth had come. " What
stranger is staying in your house ? "
" It is no person at all, godmother. It is nothing
but a voice. Choux says it comes and tallis to him
every night, and he calls it Valentin."
Choux's croak and Valentin's high note jangled rap-
idly together, stopping on Isabel's lips the accusation
of trickery. Her face became stupid with astonish-
ment, the blankness changing to a look of humiliation.
" How long has he had this voice ? "
" Not very long, godmother. Only a few months."
" Why have you not told me 1 "
Mengette picked at her petticoat, and answered, " I
did not like to."
" These things put me out of patience," said Isabel,
fiercely. " I wonder what is abroad in the world, that
even old Choux hath taken to him a familiar spirit?
Run home, Jacquemine, if you have so much fear. As
for me, voices and visions have bi'oken my heart. They
can no longer fright me."
" I was but thinking that the cur6 should come with
a censer," Jacquemine answered, shrinking against the
" The cure should come with a stout club. Did Je-
hannette ever hear this voice of Choux's 1 "
"No; I am certain she never did. I alone have
heard it, for they were not so bold with their talking
before Jehannette went away."
The contrasted laughter of cackling age and shrill
58 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC
youth filled the next chamber. Jacquemine repeatedly
crossed himself against that unrestrained second pres-
ence, which grew more tangible to the imagination
than Choux's head in its red cap.
Isabel lost no time, but thumped on the partition
with her knuckles. It was a stone wall, but an open
cupboard was let into it, making a good conductor of
" Choux, stop that noise ! "
There was silence. Then the young voice in mimi-
cry repeated Isabel's command like an echo.
" Mengette shall not stay in the house with you,
and no one in this village will feed you, if this sorcery
be not stopped. If you must play your tricks with
Satan, go out in the fields, where Christian folks can-
not hear. I am ,'going to sleep here with Mengette,
and I will have you up before messire the cur6 if that
limb of the fiend makes any more disturbance to-
There was a flurry of whispering, and when it ceased
Choux lifted his husky voice to defy a woman he
dreaded, but who stood at the other side of a wall.
" Limb of the fiend be named thyself, Isabel Ilom6e.
Valentin, whom thou hast frighted off, is as honest a
creature as any saint that ever went walking in thy
own garden. It would have been better to listen to
news from thy maid, who never stood in such peril as
she stands in this night."
"Such mock messengers bring no word for me.
And now, mind what I teU thee : whether thou hast
a familiar or art practising trickery, there shall be no
more of it in this house."
THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'ARC 69
Isabel listened austerely ; but when sbe turned from
silencing Choux her face had many more haggard lines,
which were not the marks of fear. He had cunningly
reminded her that Jeanne was sleeping in the open
fields. The mother's thoughts tried to bridge darkness,
roaming indefinitely southwestward, and having no
means to come at the actual spot near the river
By bridle-paths and across country the riders from
Vaucouleurs had achieved more than nine leagues the
first day, and the same distance the second. The first
night they were received at the Abbey of St. Urbain,
in what is now the department of Haute-Marne, but
the next night brought them to more dangerous
ground. They descended into a valley near the little
town of Bar-sur-Aube, and, avoiding it, forded the
river some distance north of the walls. The place they
selected for their camp was a cove between two shoul-
ders of the winding hiUs. Some leafless trees sheltered
it. Already there were monitions of spring in the air,
and a faint green light, like the tender apple-green of
the Meuse, swam in motes between one's eyes and gray
slopes, until the world was blurred by night. Houses
on the walls began to shine like candles. Jeanne's
party lighted no fire, but ate cold bread and meat, and
drank their wine, she sitting a little apart from the
men, and the servants taking their portion to them-
The dauphin's messenger was a lean, light man in
the saddle, running over with jokes and songs, which
he could hardly suppress in the presence of the maid
60 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC
he was conducting ; but he was the first one to wrap
himself well in his cloak and lie down for the night.
It had been agreed that the maid was to be guarded
between Jean de Metz and Bertrand de Poulengy.
These were Baudricourt's orders when camp was made
under the open sky. So she lay down betwixt knight
and squire, with her peasant dress under her head for
a piUow; and the old soldier was soon asleep. But
the young one lay awake, with his face away from
the cloaked maid whom he had so desired for his
She slept with regular, low breathing, as unconscious
of his presence as when he rode behind her all day.
She had no armor. It was not necessary for Ih'tti to
serve her as squire ; but he could watch unceasingly
her gay eagerness to get forward, her steadiness in
fording deep water, the curve of her back where waist
met hips, and even the blush of tan beginning to tint
ears and cheeks under her soldier's cap. He lay near
enough to put his hajid upon her, yet he had never in
his life felt so remote from Jeanne d'Arc.
Tears swelled his eyeballs and choked his throat.
The boy ground Ids teeth with an oath between them,
changing his oath to a praj'^er, the anguish and unen-
dui'able contradictions of life filling him full to the
hps. In starting to the wars he had counted on a
sublime self that had been wearied out of his body, a
high, priestly fellow with no personal needs whatever ;
and here he was the same Bertrand de Poulengy,
heartsore, and fuU of fierce youth and desire. But
while he lay with his back toward Jeanne, and his fists
clenched, feeling like a dog,— a faithful, worshiping
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC 61
dog, yet one that was never to be rewarded by a pat,
—some of the peace which enveloped her came over
him. His blood ceased its rapid beating, and ex-
ternal things seemed to approach in a new way to
divert and comfort him. He folded his arms and
turned his face toward the sky. Humid night air,
chill earth, and vapor-strewn stars became forces for
him to resist hardily, with patience, as a man, and
with a kind of toughening of the spirit. There was
not one bitter or unsound spot in the boy.
"By the time down has grown stiEf on my lip,"
thought Bertrand, "and I have seen something of
battle, I shall bear this without making a fool of my-
Couvre-feu had already rung in Bar-sur-Aube ; the
lights were out ; no noises came from the town. The
full river whispered. Without knowing it, the voices
of the two sullen soldiers and Richard the archer, who
had ridden with the messenger from Chinon, en-
croached more and more upon the silence. Bertrand
knew they were sullen. He had seen them scowl
when they rubbed down the horses, and wink deri-
sively at one another when the maid went into a
thicket with her rosary in her hand. One under-
thought of his wakefulness was to watch these men.
The archer had been left on guard, to be followed by
his companions in tui'n ; but all three heads were yet
clustered together, as they had sat at their bread and
meat, with a bottle going round from mouth to mouth.
Peril enough attended this journey to Chinon without
seeking any in the camp. Peril in the camp, however,
wiU soon come seeking him who lets it be. Bertrand
62 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC
rested on his elbow and listened. He would have
crept toward the men, but the letter of his oath bound
him to his place by Jeanne's side during a night in the
fields. Three dim shapes against the darkness of the
hills, Richard the archer and the two soldiers pushed
their voices farther and farther into the cove. The
humid air carried cautious sounds in f uU volume to
"If the lot fell to me I would do it," spoke the
archer. "We have had enough of this witch- work.
Let us be rid of her."
"Since it comes to sleeping on the ground," said
Bertrand's weapons, which hung from his belt when
it was clasped, now lay within a fold of his cloak. He
took the small ax and held it ready.
A murmur of urging and fragments of words
reached his ears. He caught, without distinctly hear-
ing, the men's determination to throw the maid into
the Aube, and then desert with the horses ; and reach-
ing cautiously over Jeanne, he prodded De Metz with
the ax-handle. De Metz slept on Uke an honest man.
Bertrand thought this movement of his was seen by
the soldier on whom the lot had evidently fallen ; for
the man paused in stealthy approach, and slunk back
to his fellows, being met by a low growl like reviling.
Richard the archer, standing a foot above his com-
panions, next stepped forward, and Bertrand held the
ax ready to split his head as he stooped. But two
lanee-lengths beyond the reach of the guardian's arm
he seemed to find a barrier that he could not pass, and
collapsing backward as if he had already received a
THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'AEC 63
Mow, scrambled on hands and knees toward his mates,
who uttered a sound of panic.
Bertrand's blood was all aUve, forgetting depression
and the chill of the earth. Jealous of his right to
protect the maid, he said to himself, " I will not wake
De Metz." His own part of secrecy and silence amused
him, and he tingled with laughter at the futile at-
" The poor fools really have no harm in them ; they
are only discontented ; and when they have done eas-
ing full minds on one another they will go about their
Yet he determined to see that they went about their
business, and clasping on his weapons, he stood up to
follow them. A swift smiting of light on the eyeballs,
like that which flashes within the lid when sight
struggles in pitch darkness, showed him the archer
and both soldiers crouching a few feet away.
" "What are you doing there ? " he demanded ; but
they did not hear him. They did not look at him.
. A thinning of the dimness around, like the shadowed
edge of light, revealed their staring eyes and the sepa-
rate hairs bristling on their unshaven jaws.
Jeanne had risen to her knees betwixt De Metz and
Bertrand, her muffled figure bent forward, the fixed
curve of her body, the very threads of her cloak, whit-
ened strangely in the night. No visible hovering
presence poured glory on her, yet she shone. Her
squire, still holding the ax, crossed his hands on his
bosom, feeling drenched by some divine power.
Long after Jeanne lay down from her half -conscious
prayer, breathing like a healthy child, and long after
64 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC
archer and soldiers, separating in silence, had taken to
watch or to hiding, Bertrand stood with his hands
crossed on his breast. He knew that he should never
speak of this night except lightly, but he wondered
what terror there could be for ignorant men in that
instant's glow which had rested on the maid.
jjHINON CASTLE stood among clouds
above the compact walled town of Chinon,
huge and white, buttressed along the cliffs,
showing all its towers and battlements,
from the horologe portal to an ancient Roman round
fortress at its extremity, as the riders from Vaucou-
leurs approached it at sunset. The vaUey of the river
Vienne, like so many of the valleys of France, stretched
from the foot of sheer heights to far blue alluvial hills.
Touraine was a rich country even then, when large
tracts of the realm lay waste and unproductive year
after year. The forward spring made a blur like
green light over massed distances, showing, as no
single tree by the river could do, revival of life in
Some fishermen were in a boat, pohng over the rocky
bottom of the Vienne. Its dark-green water in shady
places took the color of ale. As the party from Vau-
couleurs crossed the bridge, the town gates were
opened, and the dauphin's messenger came out to
meet them. -
"You have made good speed to-day without me,"
66 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ABC
he said, wheeling his horse to enter beside De Metz,
who led the company ; " but it is a plain journey from
St. Katherine de Fierbois to Chinon. How many
masses did the maid hear yesterday while she rested
in the church of St. Katherine ? " ^
"Only three," answered De Metz. His smile was
indulgent, but the courtier's was mocking. "And
every man of us, constrained to rub his knees so long
on that stone floor, was fain to envy you riding for-
ward at ease, with a letter to the dauphin, and the
end of the journey in sight."
The horses neighed when the gates closed after them,
scenting shelter and provender. Nimble-footed, they
picked their way through lanes of overhanging houses
crowded to the hUl beneath the castle buttresses, re-
membering no more their twelve days' beating across
varying soils of France. By way of Auxerre, Gien,
Salbris, Eamorantin, Selles, St. Aignan, Loches, and
the parish church of St. Katherine de Fierbois, they
had brought their riders without mishap to Chinon.
The horse which Durand Laxart had provided for
Jeanne stepped soberly behind De Metz's ; her squire
reined his, more spirited, a pace behind. Two or three
church towers seemed to hold the light of the March
sunset which ascending little streets so readily lost.
" Deputies from Orleans are now at the castle," said
the dauphin's messenger ; " they have come to hasten
this business about the maid."
"I call that good news," answered the knight.
" And since the expense of this expedition has rested
1 St. Catieriiie's name is thus spelled in all records concern-
ing tlds parish, church.
THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'ABC 67
on me, and tlie three troublesome knaves behind our
backs are certain to demand their pay at once, the
dauphin will doubtless soon put my mind at rest
about the scores."
" Oh, doubtless ; or Messire Alan Chartier will make
you a song which wiU give your mind great ease. We
wiU all share our tranquillity with you; but if you
expect to find any money at Chinon you wiU be disap-
pointed. Jacques Coeur of Bourges is the only man
in this poor kingdom that hath any gold ; and sage as
that generous goldsmith is, he wiU be stripped before
this business with England be finished. I myself am
used to eating sheep's legs at Chinon, where the king
hath not even a comfit-box to pass to the ladies. But
if I told other good fellows at court that you came
with a fidl pouch, you would not have pieces enough
to divide among the borrowers."
" In that case the dauphin might as well stand in-
debted to me. In truth, this is the first time I have
taken thought ahout my money, for the maid was
welcome for her own sake, and I must abide by the
good or bad that comes of this venture. But I hope
we shall have leave to go to Orleans soon."
"I think myself it promises well that the envoys
from Orl6ans are here. But a king is not the only
person that governs a realm, Messire de Metz."
A few dogs barked at the cavalcade, but the quiet
villagers paid little attention to it. There was much
coming and going betwixt court and distressed king-
dom. A man blind in his left eye and lame in his
right foot was dipping a two-handled jug in the public
fountain, and singing. The sweet, tremulous tenor
68 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC
spread ttrougli the valley, and followed Jeanne as she
ascended to the castle, like music sent to encourage
The dauphin's messenger made his party dismount
at the inn, where the horses were to be left, and where
even the big cook, white as flour fi'om head to foot,
came out to help hold bridles ; and he then took the
most direct path, which was a paved gutter between
walls scarcely two arms' lengths apart. A door stood
open at one side, showing a dark interior, lighted only
by a red hearth with a child's head against the shine,
and Bertrand was startled to see that these continuous
walls were house-fronts. Voices of women were heard
talking within the stone. A thread of water moved
down the depressed center of the way. Winding, this
path led up to a broad track which turned upon itself
and faced the castle. Chinon had been a favorite seat
of English kings before it passed into the hands of the
French. A huge gray ruin, the ancient Abbey of St.
George extended along the height like a detached out-
work of the castle. Its thick walls had been burrowed
into by poor wretches who stood gaunt-faced at their
doors and looked at the arriving maid. Living so
near the royal gates, they had heard of her, and they
witnessed the insolence of a drunken soldier who came
down the slope and boldly stumbled against her. Ber-
trand de Poulengy struck him out of the way.
" Jarnedieu ! " the soldier snarled, using the common
oath of his class.
" Dost thou jarnedieu," said Jeanne, piteously, turn-
ing to follow him with her eyes— "thou who art so
near death ? "
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 69
The warder lowered a long drawbridge across the
moat, and the clock struck high above their heads as
they passed through the tower of the horologe. From
this portal a sunken road guarded by masonry ascended
to a wide garden. The glow of sunset lingered on
winding paths, and masses of trees, and banks where
roses would be rankly abundant in their season.
Though birches, oaks, and shrubs were yet leafless,
they almost hid the royal ch&teau, to which it seemed
a far cry from the gate. Nothing was spoken until
the party came to this pile, buttressed along the cliff,
and looking with large stone-cased windows over val-
ley and height.
" This is the middle chMeau, where the king rests,"
said the royal messenger; and Jeanne would have
turned aside to the great entrance.
" You are not to be lodged here," he told her ; " you
go yonder to the tower of Coudray, beyond the inner
They passed the long palace side, seeing no face look
down in welcome, and crossed the bridge over the in-
ner moat. Instead of water a fleece of springing grass
covered the depths of this wide and sheltered moat.
A curtain of stone connected a high tower on the moat
bank with another battlemented tower built into the
buttressed cliff wall. There was an archway in the
curtain at the end of the bridge, through which they
passed to the tower of Coudray on the right hand. It
rose between two wings of masonry. The farther one
was expanded to a chapel, but the nearer one seemed
merely a sheltered entrance to a stone staircase built
up ^ the first floor of the tower. Joints of creepers
70 THE DAYS OF JEAJTOTE D'AEC
clung about its corners and massed over its sasUess
window. Wherever a rock had crumbled, little tufts
of green were coming generously out to meet the Tou-
"Ascend here, pucelle," said the dauphin's mes-
senger ; " and wait until I see the king. Women wiU.
be sent to attend you. Here is better footing than on
the inner stairs."
"But when shall I see the dauphin?" inquired
Jeanne. Her guide made a gesture which counseled
" It hath struck seven of the clock," ventured Ber-
trand. " Perhaps his Majesty is now at supper."
" The king dines at seven in Chinon," said the mes-
senger ; " and I have never seen him so bent on affairs
of state that he abated his natural habits."
" Messire Colet," said Jeanne, using her guide's name
with a power of entreaty which pierced a courtier's
indifference, " go you at once to the dauphin, and tell
him I am here and must see him."
" It shall be done, pucelle ; but you yourself need
food; and rest also you need after ten days in the
saddle, and no repose and comfort except what you
could take upon your knees on the stones of St.
Katherine de Fierbois."
Jeanne turned laughing from her ascent of the
stairs, and clapped her guide on the back with a sud-
" I wish I had ten thousand such men as these, all
armed and equipped, and ready to march this minute.
We would make short work of the English in France."
The astonished messenger saw her shut the door
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 71
of the tower before he turned to De Metz and the
"Hath she not a strange effect on a man? You
"would say she is a child diiven by some power toward
bloody war; yet when you see her riding at speed,
with her throat swelled out and her shoulders back,
or when she rouses you with a stroke like that, you
want to unsheathe a sword and shout."
He led Jeanne's escort around to the front of the
tower, where a door let them into a dark circular in-
"I call this a beastly place," growled the archer.
" In Vaucouleurs we had better stables for cattle."
" This dungeon is only the guard-room of the tower,"
said the messenger; "but over yonder, beyond St.
Martin's Chapel, we have some deep underground
cells, with irons in the walls, for such fellows as you,
my good bowman. If you bring a proud stomach to
Chinon, you will be let down out of daylight, as many
a better man hath been before your time."
"A soldier needs nothing but a bench and the
earthen floor," said De Metz; "but I would be glad
to know that the maid hath better accommodations
" She has two commodious chambers, one over the
other, for herself and the ladies who will be sent to
bear her company. And now, messire knight, set
your guard, and I wiU show you and the squire where
you are to lodge."
" Let me stay with the guard until company is sent
to the pucelle," requested Bertrand ; and his forward-
ness was not rebuked. He sat down near the door.
72 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC
Richard the arclier being left as sentinel at the foot of
the inner stairs. Richard could see nothing but cross-
tracery of distant boughs or chapel walls through the
door, while his watcher could also see the Roman tower,
and much nearer something like a colossal chimney-
top standing half the length of a man above ground.
Wlule Bertrand sat there some serving-men descended
into it by means of a ladder, and he learned afterward
that it was an entrance to the subterranean storehouses
of the castle.
Ten days' resentment broke silence with the archer.
" I need no spy over me, messire innkeeper. I stood
at guard before thou wert born."
" Age never improves a knave," retorted Bertrand.
" Stand back, there ! I would as lief stick thee in the
ribs as not. I have scarce been able to keep my hands
off thee and thy two fellows since the night by Bar-
Though far from claiming social equality with the
squire, the bowman resented being ranked with ser-
vant-soldiers who had not yet risen to be men-at-arms.
In every body of troops the ai-chers were most numer-
ous. A lifetime of practice went to the making of
their sMll, while any varlet could soon learn the trade
of man-at-arms. Richard coarsely sneered and put his
knuckles on his hips at mention of his two fellows,
but his face changed at mention of the night by Bar-
" Come," said Bertrand, " tell me what you saw, and
I will never mention the matter to the dauphin. The
puceUe is now safe in Chinon, but he might clap you
in irons for eonspii'ing to di'own her, if he knew it.
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARG 73
I will pledge you also the silence of Messire de Metz,
thougli we are both resolved you go no farther in om*
company. What made you three knaves pick up your
heels every time you approached her ? "
"I do not know, messire." Richard's eyes were
uneasy and his figure was dejected.
" Did you see any apparition ? "
"I will teU thee, Messire de Poulengy, I am glad
this business is done, and I wish to be no more about
the maid. While no man likes spying, I am well
enough pleased to have thee on that bench as twUight
falls, before torch be lighted iu this vault."
"What did you see at Bar-sur-Aube ? " Bertrand
repeated with impatience.
"Nothing, messire— nothing. It was the feeling.
We aU. had it. I would rather be scalded with boiling
oil, or take a shaft through my body, than ever have
it again. She may be a maid of God, but my flesh
creepeth on coming near her. Something hath guard
over her that an honest soldier cannot abide."
" You did not see the awful archangel St. Michael
hovering above her?"
"You did not see St. Margaret and St. Catherine,
one on each side of her, St. Margaret's dragon trailing
across De Metz, and St. Catherine resting her wheel
on a fold of my cloak ? "
"No, messire," the bowman answered, a shudder
going with his words.
" It is well for you that you did not see them. The
sight of them slays men that have the intention to do
74 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC
" I pray God I may never see them," said Richard,
"Althougli you are a sinful man," observed Ber-
trand, " I thiak your prayer will be answered. And
see to it, you three, that you make early confession.
It is dangerous to be iu the neighborhood of such a
maid with sin on your conscience."
"We are all agreed on that, messire. At first I
thought she was a witch ; but now, though I have such
terror of her as I never had of woman, I know she is
not holpen of the devil."
" You would be more at your ease in her company
if she were ? "
" Yes, messire ; whereas, after that feeling she gave
me, I am loath even to swear in her hearing."
"That must work you great discomfort. The knight
of Novelopont will get you placed where you can curse
in peace, and kill with more advantage to the dauphin."
The rush of women's clothes, rather than the sound
of footsteps, startled the squire from his bench. As
he hurried past the window of that extension which
sheltered the outer staircase, he saw two figures ascend-
ing. One was an elderly woman, servant or duenna,
and before her ran, light-footed, a creature of elegant
back, wearing a high conical head-dress from which
floated a cloud of gauze.
"These be the dames sent from court," thought
But Jeanne, sitting in the upper chamber by a
window overlooking valley and middle chateau, turned
at the small pat of footsteps, and saw only a maid
entering from the stairs.
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 75
It was a delicately fashioned, blue-eyed, -white and
rose-red maid, with square brows and a full, oval face.
The hair was drawn up from her high forehead and
concealed under her head-dress. Though the face was
shown thus freely, and all of the weU-set neck, its
sweet modesty was its first charm. Jeanne stood up
to receive her, but she made a gesture of greetiag, and
drew a chair for herself near the window, measuring
Jeanne's male hose and cuirass with the swift and
critical inspection of youth.
" You are the maid from Vaucouleurs ? "
"I saw you pass under the ch&teau windows, and
slipped away directly to see you. My name is Agnes
Sorel. My aunt is lady in waiting to the Queen of
Sicily, his Majesty's mother-in-law."
She di-ew in her breath with pretty haste, and added :
" Let us have some talk before the old duennas come.
You are to have two of the most tiresome women at
court put in here to take care of you. By that ar-
rangement we get rid of them, and they feel their se-
lection a mark of royal favor."
" I did not come to women ; I came to see the dau-
phin," said Jeanne.
"Here we do not say the dauphin," observed Agnes.
"Charles is our king, having been consecrated at
Poitiers. That little beast Louis, the king's son, is
the dauphin; and if he lives— which God forbid! —
wiU some day be Louis XI of France, provided the
BngHsh leave us any France."
The eagerness of the one, so unlike the quiet power
of the other, seemed to work a sudden embarrassment
76 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC
between the two maids. Agnes, however, drew her
chair still nearer to Jeanne. In this high tower a
primrose daylight lingered, reflecting its glow upon
them from the circular stone walls. No tapestry was
hung here, hut both bedchambers of Condray were
provided with all that women then used in their
dressing- and sleeping-rooms.
" Do you like to wear the habit of a man ? "
" The habit matters nothing," answered Jeanne. " I
am obliged to wear it to do what I am sent to do."
" And will you really ask the king to send you to
" I will go to-morrow, demoiselle, if he but give me
Agnes rested her full, oval chin on a hand so sensi-
tively white and fine that Jeanne reflected that it could
never have twisted wool betwixt finger and thumb, or
washed at the river.
" One can see you are no fool. I have myself some-
times felt in a rage to go to war, or to do anything
which would stir this lazy Charles. He is the sweetest
king that ever drew breath. Do you see that great
stone shaft on the back of the middle chateau ?" she
suddenly inquired. " That is an oubliette. The cour-
tiers say nothing about it, but every one knows' it is
an oubhette, and is entered from the upper floor of
the ch§,teau. There a trap drops one to the very
depths of this rock, and a sluice carries one's body into
the river, and no person the wiser, and all trace lost.
Oh, many a king has dropped his enemies down that
oubliette; but Charles has never used it in his life.
I should use it. Long since would that machinery
THE, DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 77
have been oiled and set in motion if I had been king,
and the first person sent down the shaft would have
been Georges la Tr6mouille."
" Who is Georges la Tr6niouille ? "
"Did you never hear of the king's favorite? If
France be altogether lost to the English, it will be his
fault. Indeed, there is not a soul near the king who
cares what becomes of France, unless it be the Queen
of Sicily, who has bestirred herself for all the troops
raised. I despise king's favorites," said the child
courtier, with fervor. " I am only poor Agnes Sorel
of Loches, but I can see through that La Tr^mouille.
He will not suffer any one to be near Charles except
himself, and hath even sent the queen away to tend
the nursery of the little beast of a dauphin. Yet he
loves neither the king nor the realm. He simply wishes
to be master at court. You will have to pass him be-
fore you get leave to face the English, pucelle. My
aunt has heard it said he is in league with them. He
has a chateau at SuUy-sur-Loire, near Orleans; but
the English, however they go about meddling with
France, never trouble him."
Agnes lifted a finger to silence her own rapid talk,
and turned her head to listen as the woman who had
entered the tower with her repeated a call on the stairs.
" Your old cats are craning, pucelle. I am warned
" Will you carry a message for me to the dauphin,
demoiselle ? "
" Gladly would I ; but my aunt does not yet permit
me to have speech with the king. I am too young and
insignificant. I am not of the court, indeed, but only
78 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC
taJdng a peep at it from my convent at Leches, to be
sent directly back. But I can use my eyes and ears,
and they should be serviceable to you if my aunt per-
mitted me to stay at Chinon."
She had reached the stairs. She turned and faced
the tall maid standing in man's clothes against the
fading window. They looked at each other with a
long look. Agnes Sorel's face whitened with pas-
sionate earnestness, forecasting the power of her ma-
turity, when she should be called "belle des belles,"
and reign like a queen for the good of the kingdom.
" Pucelle, I may never see you again. We are very
different, but we both love France. And I shall love
France better as long as I live because I have seen
you. Good day."
" Good day, demoiselle. Pray for me."
ilTAES came out over Cliiiion, and the air
was "warm, unlike the crisp Marcli night
air of Domremy. Jeanne had eaten her
supper, but she remained by the upper
■window of the tower thinking of her coming audience
with the dauphin. She could not sleep, as did the two
elderly ladies of the court in the chamber under her ;
but, sitting on the broad siU, she watched the lights of
the middle chateau, and harkened to sounds across
There were delicious strains of music, sometimes a
roar of laughter, or a hint of women's voices rising and
falling in chorus. Jeanne heard the clock strike in its
high, distant place; but time was nothing to these
courtiers in the middle chateau, who, according to the
w^ords of the yoimg demoiselle, cared so little what be-
came of France. To a Lorraine peasant the sovereign
was more sacred than the nearest relation. She was
angry with his friends ; and when a flare of torch-light
came around the front of the palace, the maid leaned
Muffled ladies lifting their long mantles from the
80 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC
damp of the ground, and men in rich colors and
plumed hats picking their way with pointed shoes,
flocked toward her tower across the moat bridge.
Jeanne's heart pounded in her side. It could not be
that the dauphin was sending this gay train to bring
her into his presence. But she saw Charles himself in
the midst of it. Wliere was there a child in the Meuse
valley who did not know the traits of the house of
Valois ? Burgundy, the younger branch of this house,
brought forth strong, dark men ; Orleans, the kingly
branch, men of sanguine complexion and soft hair.
Yet all had the same aquiline features, marked chins,
and outward turning of the edges of the lips. Jeanne
needed no one to show her the dauphin, stepping be-
tween torch-bearers, in a long robe which covered him,
the smoke filming above his fair head, his laughing,
unconcerned eyes roving the little world about him.
With a patter like a flock of sheep the light footsteps
of the company wheeled to the left, and they went on
with their torches to the battlemented tower of Boissy,
followed by a long, gay fellow in black, carrying in
his arms an instrument on which he made tripping
melody as he went. Jeanne could see from her height
the flat top of the tower of Boissy, with its parapet of
stone. The curtain of masonry along the moat ran
like a path from one tower to the other. Torchmen
stepped outside the parapet, and stood on an open stone
platform supporting the battlements, and in the ring
of smoky light which they formed the lute struck up,
and Charles's little court, hilarious with its freak in the
mild March night, flung mufflers aside, and made the
pavement resound with their dancing.
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AKC 81
Orleans was nearly surrounded by the English, and
whole villages in France stood as empty as kennels.
In the Solange country there had been no plowing or
sowing for years, and women as gaunt as wolves tried
to nourish little living skeletons at their breasts. Eob-
bers were in every province. The infant long of Eng-
land was crowned in Paris, while the dauphin of
France had neither army nor crown; his last hope
was slipping from him with Orleans : and he and his
people went merrily out in the night to dance on the
top of a tower !
It was not until the next evening that the ladies who
attended Jeanne came to tell her that the king was
ready to give her audience. All day she had been tor-
mented by courtiers, who ran up the stairs to look at
her, or followed her into the chapel of St. Martin,
where she went to pray. One was a lean boy in a
page's dress, who craned his neck around a pillar of
the chapel; the corners of his mouth turned upward
with the habit of laughter. She felt moved to put on
a calm front while she was watched, and to let none
of them catch her weeping ; so, with a quick pass of
her hands through her short hair, she said to those
prudent ladies whom Agnes Sorel called the old
"En nom De, if the dauphin be ready to see me,
take me before him at once."
They first took her, with the gentle hands of women
accustomed to robe royalty, to a long garment lying
ready upon a bench, and one of them began to un-
fasten her cuirass.
"What are you doing?" asked Jeanne.
82 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AKC
" Preparing you for audience with the king. One
must put on a court dress when one goes to court."
"I never in my life traUed cloth after me on the
ground. I cannot weai- it," said Jeanne, eying the
folds doubtfully ; " let me be as I am."
"But thou art a maid," urged one of the dames.
" It is not fitting that a maid should go before the kiag
in man's tunic and hose."
" Then I will put on my short peasant dress, that I
brought behind my saddle from Vaucouleurs."
"But the Mug," suggested one of the ladies, for
neither of the two found her easy to command, "is a
nice observer of women's clothes. I remember hearing
him praise to the queen a hennin that had the front
bent down to make scallops along the brow."
"What have I to do with hennins?" exclaimed
Jeanne. "What are hennins?"
" Hennins are high, pointed head-coverings."
"The kind of hennin for me is a casque of steel.
You cannot make a court lady of me." Curious and
impatient, she examined the long dark robe edged with
white, unwilling to be rude to the two shadow-like at
tendants. Her young delight in colors and her sense
of what was fitting for Jeanne d'Arc rejected it. " Give
me my cloak."
" But will you not put on the court dress ? "
" The high steward is waiting to conduct you," said
the other lady, " and time presses."
" En nom De, I wiU go to the dauphin as I am."
An ascent of broad steps gave entrance to the great
hall of the middle chateau. Sixty feet distant, at the
end of the vaulted room, was a chimney of white stone
THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'AEC 83
■with square pillars upholding its penthouse. A pair
of andirons with posset-cups stood nearly as high as
the chimney-breast. A noble fire blazed here, reflected
by the pohshed oak boards of the floor ; candles were
lighted, and fifty torches were fastened along the
walls, burning clearly, and showing the whiteness of
Chinon stone, which gave all masonry such a ghostly
look by night; for the only pieces of tapestry were
hung at the sides of the chimney, showing miracles
performed by St. Martin. Each window, recessed in
the thick wall, had its two opposite splayed seats of
stone, worn by much lounging.
The court had gathered with full curiosity to see
the sorceress. Though Chinon was a secure place,
well removed from the seat of war, it was dull in the
month of March before Easter festivities came on.
Three hundred knights and nobles were in the haU,
each wearing the color of the lady he affected ; and
beautiful, spirited women, priests and court officers,
walked to and fro, carrying the light on their raiment.
Their talk came to Jeanne, as she ascended, like the
humming of bees.
Yolande, the dowager Queen of Sicily, stood kindly
near the entrance to greet and put at ease a poor maid
whom she had begged to have at Chinon. The young
man-at-arms brought in by the high steward, with
bare forehead and short hair flying about her delicate
ears, confused the queen, who had herself sent a fitting
court dress to the maid. While she looked for a timid
peasant to foUow this straight-limbed youth, Jeanne
walked up the hall toward the dauphin.
He stood in the midst of courtiers, least distin-
84 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC
guished of all by his dress ; but she who had carried
his image in mind from childhood could easily choose
him. Charles was not more than ten years older than
Jeanne. He had the beauty of young manhood, and
was of an imposing figure out of armor, which be-
trayed the weak outline of his legs. The sweetest
king who ever drew breath was languorous and gentle
in his manner, kindly toward the pleasant side of the
world, and most attractive to women.
The courtiers let Jeanne pass through the midst of
them, regarding her with the eyes of people accus-
tomed to laugh for pastime, until she reached the
middle of the hall, when one of them stepped back-
ward with continuous bowing, and directed her to a
person gorgeous with decorations.
" The king."
" But why do you tell me that 1 " inquired Jeanne,
surprised that they should want to make game of her
serious business. Without pausing, she continued on
her way to Charles, and knelt, bending her body al-
most to the groimd.
" God give you good life, fair dauphin."
" I am not the king," said Charles, his smiling lips
continuing the game.
" You are not yet the king, but you shall be. My
name is Jeanne the maid. The King of heaven sends
you word by me that you shall be anointed and
crowned in the city of Rheims, and it is his pleasure
that our enemies the English depart to their own
" How am I to know this 1 " Feeling the beauty of
her voice, he looked into familiar eyes around for the
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC 85
answering smile whicli often helped him to take seri-
ous matters lightly. His queen and his mother-in-law
had urged hirn to seize any help, and the city of Or-
gans was wildly demanding this strange creature,
who affected him, not as woman shoidd affect man,
but as some blameless and sexless knight dropped out
of God knew where for his reproach. It would be
said in every kingdom of Christendom that Charles of
France was come to a pretty pass when he was obUged
to take up with a peasant maid from the hills of Lor-
raine to lead his troops and fight his battles.
' ' My sign shall be the raising of the siege of OrMans."
The dauphin's eyes met the eyes of the deputies, and
all three men agreed silently that she might well be
used against the BngUsh if the people believed she
could raise the siege.
The Queen of Sicily whispered with awe to ladies in
waiting : " Not only did she know the king without ever
having seen him, but she kneels as if brought up in a
"And I have a sign also for you alone, gentle
dauphin," said Jeanne, " that I may not tell to any
" Come aside and tell it to mine alone, then," said
They stepped into a window recess, and stood be-
tween the two splayed seats, Charles with his back to
the court. The cross of stone which parted the win-
dow into four oblongs of starhght was behind Jeanne.
And much farther behind her, in the distant valley of
the Meuse, was that past life from which she had come
to these strange uses.
86 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AKC
The courtiers talked among themselves, women's
pointed hennins towering above men's heads; but
every face, even that of the court poet leaning against
a chimney pillar and noiselessly fingering his lute,
was turned toward the dauphin and the maid.
Charles entered the alcove as a man submits himself
to remedies unproved which he has half a mind to re-
ject. In the middle ages sorcery was the unpardon-
able sin. The folly of having to do with a peasant
would be nothing compared with the charge of helping
himself by witchcraft. Yet this humble presence be-
side him, in the dress of a soldier, scarcely conscious
of herself, was not like any creature who had in his
lifetime been sent to the stake accused of meddling
Their talk in the window was so brief that the
change in the dauphin startled his court. He turned
about with a radiant face, and led the maid toward
them by the hand. Never in the seven years of his
uneasy reign— and those who knew him longest said
never in his life before— had he been so jubilant.^
1 "One day, at the period of his greatest adversity, the prince,
vainly looking for a remedy against so many troubles, entered
in the morning, alone, into his oratory, and there, without utter-
ing a -word aloud, made prayer to God from the depths of his
heart that if he were the true heir, issue of the house of France
(and a doubt was possible with such a queen as Isabel of Bava-
ria), and the kingdom ought justly to be his, God would be
pleased to keep and defend it for him ; if not, to give him grace
to escape without death or imprisonment and find safety in
Spain or Scotland, where he intended in the last resort to seek
a refuge. This prayer, known to God alone, the maid recalled
to the mind of Charles VII, and thus is explained the joy
THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'AEC 87
" What hath she told him ? " whispered a lady to the
" Some remedy for the rot of sheep's feet," laughed
the favorite at her ear. " Charles is a gentle king to
please. But I wiU inquire, and bring you word of the
"Who is that man with his mouth awry?" asked
Jeanne of the deputies from Orleans in the crowd that
the dauphin brought about her.
" That is the chancellor of France, La Tr^mouille."
"I would there were more of the royal blood
gathered here, for that would be the better for
Undismayed, she reviewed the knights and nobles,
and in her mind estimated the value of each one. In
an age of hand-to-hand combat the large, well-boned
man promised best for fighting. Jeanne was a child
in expression. She could not talk so that people
would stand and listen to her from morning till night,
as it was said a friar at Paris was then doing, but she
had the sense of events. Insincerity was the Hfe-
breath of this court, which the Queen of Sicily fre-
quented only for her daughter's sake. Its intrigues
and jealousies and secret histories could not lie plainly
open to the maid from Domremy ; but she felt those
tangles of human interests and petty spites, which
■which, as the witnesses say, he testified whilst none at that
time knew the cause. Jeanne by this revelation not only caused
the king to believe in her ; she caused Mm to believe in himself
and his right and title : 'I tell thee on behalf of my Lord that
thou art the true heir of France and son of the Mng.' "— Wallon,
tome i., p. 32.
88 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AKC
make the entire fabric of many lives, disturbing her
Because Charles showed that he believed in her, his
ladies came near and talked to her, looking less at her
man-at-arms shoes. The chancellor asked her how
she fared across country, and if she had heard on her
journey the secret she told the king. Alan Chartier,
the court poet, carrying his lute, and with his sugar-
loaf hat hanging at his back by ribbons, lounged at
her elbow, half insolent with the license of the court,
half fascinated by a face rapt with purpose as he had
never seen face before. Ashamed, Jeanne looked at
them aU, and wished they would quit making witty
plays with words, and turn to the matter of Or-
leans ; for, besides Charles and the deputies, there
was no man in hall who willingly spoke of that be-
Jeanne knew her brother Jacquemine could make
the family miserable by his fretf ulness. In a prince's
household the tyranny of small over great natures
was still the strange human law. Her first half -hour
at court showed her how an insignificant man, rising
by the power of his arrogance, could turn at will the
fate of a kingdom. The coui-tier who had presented
La Tr6mouille as her king jested less at her than at
The audience ended, and Jeanne went back to the
tower of Coudray. Morning and noon and night grew
and brightened and darkened over the white stones of
Chinon, and morning came again. She knelt in the
chapel of St. Martin for hours at a time, while spring
mists approached from infinite depths of sky to
THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'AEC 89
dampen the earth. The dampness became bold lines
of rain, and threshed trees, streaming down walls and
hissing against the buttressed heights. Almost before
a downpour could thin, the sun broke through and
printed a rainbow across the vaUey. The season con-
tinued to advance, though affairs in the kingdom stood
Bertrand took shelter at the foot of the outer stair-
way, leaning against the open window where he could
watch these gathering and passing rains, with dull
interest in their frequency. The tall youth in page's
dress whom he had seen hangiag about the chapel,
and disapproved of as a spy upon Jeanne, entered
boldly and made for the stairway. Bertrand took him
by the collar, but allowed him to wrench himself loose
and stand back.
" What business have you here, young messire ? "
" I am sent to the puceUe."
" What 's j'^our message ? "
" I will even deliver that myself."
" I am her squire," said Bertrand.
" And I am sent to be her page," said the other.
"Who sent you?"
"What is your name?"
" Louis de Coutes." '■
Bertrand de Poulengy and LouisMe Coutes eyed
each other without favor.
" I am bid to wait on her," further declared Louis.
1 Her page, Loiiis de Coutes, not Louis de Conte. (See
" Grand List," or " Livre d'Or de Jeanne d'Arc," Biblioth&que
90 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ABC
" Also, if she hath aught to set down in writing, I can
do that, for I have learned the clerk's trade."
" You have learned the clerk's trade, have you ? I
thank God, my trade is that of arms. I carry neither
qnUl nor train of lady's petticoat."
"No need to teU, messire squire, that you were not
bred to courts. Panniers on your back, and wooden
shoes on your feet— these are what you have carried."
" Children are better taught in my country," retorted
Bertrand, flushing red.
" I am about four years younger than you are," cal-
culated Louis, noting the squire's height and the down
on his lip ; " but if you will go beyond the pit with
me, where no one is likely to see us, we will settle this
"There is more to you than I thought," Bertrand
admitted. "I will not strike a man younger than
myself. Go in graciously, and do your errand with
the puceUe. If the dauphin sends her a page, it is
none of her squire's business. But I would we were
at OrMans, having some honest fighting, instead of
lounging here against walls."
"You are not like to go to Orleans soon. The
pucelle is to be sent farther south, direct to Poitiers."
Bertrand's solicitude, as keen as anguish, appeai*ed
in his face.
"Why to Poitiers?"
" Has not Poitiers been the capital of the kingdom
since the loss of Paris ? "
" What has the pucelle to do with that ? "
" The king hath been advised to send her there to
be examined by bishops and learned doctors of the
THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'ARC 91
law. He would have their opinion on so rash a busi-
ness as attempting to raise a siege by means of a maid.
She is to come herself to the council-chamber, and take
the word from his Majesty."
The dowager Queen of Sicily, who had been the first
person to accept Jeanne publicly in hall, was not the
last in council to see^ that the daupliin would lower
himself before Christendom if he hastened to make use
of this peasant without throwing the responsibility on
the church. Queen Yolande was an energetic woman
whose nervous hands did not often lie quietly in her
lap, but fluttered in front of her like butterfly wings,
bearing up and carrying abroad what she volubly said.
She wished her daughter, poor Marie of Anjou, firmly
seated in the kingdom of France. And, benevolent
though her nature was, she wished disgrace might
overtake La Tr6mouille, who stood leaning against the
chimney in Charles's council-chamber, meditating on
his own private intrigues, and on nothing else. The
deputies from Orleans were urgent to have the maid
" There are not at this time four pieces in the trea-
sury, Messire de Beaucaire," said Charles to one of
" However, there is always Jacques Cceur of Bourges
to advance money," put in Queen Yolande, her fingers
fluttering down to withdraw the robe from her ankle,
which she warmed at the hearth-corner. Three fleurs-
de-lis on the huge tablet of iron which lined the chim-
ney-back glowed red-hot above the burning wood.
" Jacques Cceur hath advanced much money already.
The honest goldsmith may well laugh at securities
92 THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'ABC
offered by this out-at-elbows court. We are not sliot
at by the English here, Messire de Tilloy, but we are
jeered at by all Christendom. "We would we had ten
thousand men now on the march to Orleans ; but we
have not the means to equip a single man-at-arms.
And we would the doctors in Poitiers had already ap-
proved of this maid as we do. But nothing is settled,
and the affau's of this world cannot be hurried."
"The peasant's sign made good speed with your
Majesty," La TremouiUe said. " I would be glad to
know that powerful sign myself."
Charles smiled at his favorite without replying, and
one of the deputies declared : " By St. Martin ! I would
we had that other sign she promised to show before
Orleans. Being sent in such haste, we are loath to
go twenty leagues farther to Poitiers, and wait the
slow deliberations of churchmen."
" If we were shod like you, Messire de Beaucaire,"
said Charles, " we would ride to Poitiers with pleasure-
But when a king's shoes grow shabby and thin, he
has some shame about showing himself at his capital
"Has your Majesty pressingly commanded new
footwear on account of going to Poitiers?" inquired
the dowager. "I saw a man waiting in the ante-
chamber as I came in, having shoes in his hand."
" Let him present himself here at once, in Heaven's
name," said Charles, lounging over an arm of his
chair, and sticking his foot out lazily. "Is this fit
gear for a king to wear in council? France is indeed
down at the heel. But we have yet resources when a
man who hath not been three times paid since the
THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'ABC 93
treaty of Troyes brings his wares, and patiently waits
to have them tried on."
Being permitted to enter, the Chinon shoemaker
came to his knees before Ids sovereign with such
slovenly disregard of ceremony as would have got him
a beating in the court of Burgundy. It was the imper-
tinence of a humble creditor toward a debtor of high
station. Royalty had sat so long over the villagers of
Chinon that they regarded its luster a mere character-
istic of that region, like the whiteness of their stone.
The Orleans deputies were impatient at Charles's
dalliance over the fit of a shoe. He examined it well,
and set his foot down with satisfaction.
" Now put on the other, my man."
"Not without my money, your Majesty," said the
La TremouiUe laughed out loud at the crestfallen
look of the sovereign of France.
" Come, good fellow," argued Charles, " it is like to
make your fortune to be shoemaker to the king. Put
on my shoe."
" It hath come nearer to making me a beggar. And
I hold, your Majesty, that this shoe is mine until it be
" But the long cannot be seen in one new shoe and
one old one."
" No, your Majesty ; that would be unseemly. But
since you have no new one of your own, it may well
"You shall be paid, my friend. Go about your
"Without doubt I shall be paid, your Majesty ; for
94 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC
I intend to go about my business hereafter only to tbe
buyer who bath money to his pouch."
Charles gave man and shoe a kick which sent them
both half across the room. He thrust his foot into
his old foot-gear, and his easy laugh followed the de-
" That settles the question of our going to Poitiers.
"We must even continue to wear our old shoes. But
we crave to have them greased. In a realm so im-
poverished as this it is asking much ; but we do crave
to have our old shoes greased."
" The king is a fop," laughed his chancellor. " He
would even have his shoes greased when there is scarce
fat enough in the chateau to grease the chops of his
"Not four pieces left in the treasury, and credit
gone. A king that hath no credit with his shoemaker,
what way can he turn ? "
Charles lolled his head against the back of his chair,
finding compensation in parading his poverty before
the OrMans deputies.
"Bring in that maid who declares we shall be
crowned at Rheims, and it is the wiU of God the
English be driven out of Prance. It hath been our
wiU seven long years, though that availed nothing.
How we are to be crowned at Rheims, across leagues
of hostile country, or even transported there with
suitable retinue, God he alone knoweth."
" Did your Majesty hear," inquired Queen Tolande,
" that the pucelle foretold the death of a soldier who
met her at the gates, and that very hour he fell into
the river and was drowned ? "
THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'AKC 95
"We had not heard itj but let her at once foretell
the death of Bedford and a few of oirr other BngUsh
" The story is quite true. She was heard by the
beggars in St. George's Abbey. ' Dost thou jamedieu,'
saith the maid, ' when thou art so near death ? ' And
that same hour he fell in the river and was drowned."
" What a waste of the material needed at Orleans ! "
observed La TremouiUe. "I call your maid a har-
binger of ill. It is only since she entered Chinon that
the shoemaker refused credit and soldiers began to
take to the river."
" If she be a harbinger of HI, she will take from the
chancellor of France his occupation," gently responded
the queen ; " for things have gone from bad to worse
ever since Messire la TremouiUe came to dwell at
" She is the only person in this realm that hath ever
brought a word of good news to Chinon. Let us have
her in, to speak comfortably to us and console us for
Jeanne was already waiting in the antechamber.
The guard let her pass, and her page threw open the
door. As at her first audience, she went directly to
the dauphin, and fell on her knees. He changed his
lounging attitude, sitting erect, and bringing his
shabby shoes together, unmindful of their shabbiness.
At his left hand La TremouiUe leaned against the
chimney; at his right knelt the maid who had told
him the secret thought of his own heart. Her young
face was worn and exalted by much suspense and
prayer. Her innocent mouth and clear hazel eyes
96 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC
moved Charles's sluggisli religious nature as his con-
fessor could not.
" Gentle dauphin, do not hesitate to take the help
sent from God by me. My counsel have bid me tell
you that no other can do what I am sent to do, not
even the daughter of the King of Scotland. Go on
hardily. Charlemagne and St. Louis are continually
on their knees for Prance. God hath taken pity on
us. Be not dismayed."
Charles raised her to stand beside him, and the
envoys from Orleans drew nearer, feeling that attrac-
tion which even her enemies owned. The room was
filled with one presence. She was as guiltless of de-
siring to please men as a statue on an altar, but she
already transformed them by some indefinable power.
"Jeanne," said the dauphin, "we have just told
these friends thou hast brought us the only good news
we have had in years. We have faith in thee ; but in
order that others may have the same faith it is neces-
sary to prove thee."
"•Prove me before Orleans."
" But you ask for men-at-arms and equipments to
raise the siege of Orleans. There are people who
would say, ' If she be sent by God, what need hath she
of men-at-arms ? ' "
"The men-at-arms wiE fight," answered Jeanne,
" and God will give the victory." She laughed. " En
nom D6, we must help ourselves if we would be
" Thou hast spoken truth there, pucelle," remarked
Queen Yolande. " Money and provisions and succors
are needed for Orleans. His Majesty should not ex-
THK DAYS OP JEANNE D'AEC 97
pect to have miracles wrought for him, though I my-
self believe that, by the favor of the saints, miracles
are about to be done."
"Jeanne," said Charles, "the most learned men of
the kingdom will be called to Poitiers. We think it
wise to send thee there to be questioned by them."
"What use is there, gentle dauphin, in setting
learned men on to ask me questions 1 I know neither
a nor b. I am sent, and my counsel have bid me go
" Who are your counsel, Jeanne ? "
" My voices."
" Do you hear them continually ? "
" One voice stays with me ; another comes and goes,
and visits me often ; and with the third both delib-
She stood reserved, and after her words the room
was full of sUence. Turning her eyes from the royal
face, she could see through a window the sweep of
Chinon valley, and she saw it blurred by rain and
tears. The delay and languor and inquisitiveness
and timid wisdom which must caU a conclave of
bookish men to examine a plain message from Heaven
" En nom D6," said Jeanne, shaving tears from her
cheek with her finger, and flinging them aside, "I
shall have tough work there, but my Lord will help
IVE weeks after Jeanne had been sent from
Chinon to Poitiers lier brother Pierre and
a ehurchman were moving southwestward
through a wooded tract, with the inten-
tion of resting that night at Loches. Their horses
were jaded by a long day's march, and picked a way
slowly through the light woods. Here the growth
was not dense, but taU-stemmed and open. Long
before the travelers rode down to the meadow through
which the Indre flowed, they had gHmpses of it, a
low-lying stream, full to its pretty green edges.
Pierre felt his blood stirred like sap by the April
air blowing in his face. All things are young in April.
He scarcely owned to being worn by the journey,
though it had been a haphazard one without guide.
Sometimes they wandered leagues out of their course.
There was not much food to be found through France,
and more than once they had slept in the open air.
The Augustine monk, whose hermit life had inured
him to hardships, bore these privations as well as
Pierre did. It was not by Pierre's own desire that he
was in such pious company. Jacques and Isabel had
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 99
put him in charge of a pilgrim to Tours. Where
Tours was they did not know, except that they had
heard it lay in the Touraine country, and the holy
St. Martin had once been its bishop. If it proved a
far cry from Tours to Chinon or Poitiers, they felt
they could better trust their youngest son to Heaven
alone at the end of the journey than to courtiers
through all the dangers. For messengers from Poitiers
came weeks before to Domremy, making inquiries
about Jeanne. The cur6 testified. ' Mengette was
questioned, and women came running from Greux to
speak a good word for her. Even the daughter of
Widow Davide stood out and praised her early plaj'-
mate. Jeanne was being examined at Poitiers by strict
and keen men ; but if they thought to find her in ill
repute in Domremy, where she was born, it was an
impossible thing to do. A clerk took everything
down in writing. Isabel and Jacques beheld this
procedure without disapproval; but when Pien-e
would have set out mth the returning company, they
were positive against it. The season was yet too
early. The envoys from Poitiers might be very grave
men ; but there was a graver, a hermit of the Vosges,
whom the cure knew to be about returning to Tours.
Pilgrimages were very common even at the most un-
settled times. Isabel herself owed her surname of
Komee to a godfather who had made a pilgrimage to
Eome. In the Lorraine country gray friars, or Fran-
ciscans, were more in favor, being bound to the royal
cause; but a black friar, especially one who had a
name for sanctity, was better company for a lad start-
ing to war than the best of courtiers.
100 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC
Pierre had carefully gathered all he could concem-
iTig the route to be followed ; and it had entered Ms
mind, if the friar gave consent, they might part at
Loches. For at Loches one had only to follow the
com-se of the river Indre north until it turned west-
ward to be led a long way toward Tours. But Poitiers
was to be found in the south.
Moving as directly as they could through pathless
woods, the friar jogging behind Pierre, having the
hood of his black capote drawn over his head, and his
eyes dropped to the ancient bed of the forest, they
came where they could see freely, without passing
sight through a network of trees, the open land and
river, and cliffs beyond. A sweetness of leaf-mold
came up with a penetrating quality like incense.
Pierre knew nothing about Loches or the approach
to it, but he turned and spoke over his shoulder: "If
we have been directed right, Brother Pasquerel, that
must be the donjon of Loches, far off yonder against
" It is Loches," agreed Brother Pasquerel ; " but it
is half a day's journey distant yet."
" We have some hours before nightfall. Let us go
down into the open fields, and find it by the nearest
way the horses can take."
" There may be some danger in leaving the cover
of the woods before we are near Loches," suggested
the friar ; but he followed his companion in the descent.
"We are in the dauphin's country," said Pierre;
"we are not on land overrun by the Enghsh."
Loches's square mass of donjon, and the round
points of its ch§,teau towers, mounted higher in the
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 101
afternoon sky. A moist greensward lay under the
horses' hoofs in the valley, and the Indre lapped its
edges as if they were lips. Pierre was riding idly,
wondering how far they must ascend this right bank
to find a bridge into Loches, when the fiiar, who was
measuring distance behind, grasped his bridle. PieiTe
ttirned, and saw more than rising forest and winding
stream-course. He saw a troop of men with glittering
lances, still so distant that they seemed cast in one
lump, with the particles moving, and the lances mere
points of silver. But Pierre had seen men-at-arms
ride in his own country. He could not tell if they
wore armor. There was no sheen playing over the
sm-face. During all his adventures with Brother Pas-
querel they had not once encountered any of those
freebooting companies which tormented France. It
was not an unusual thing for little companies of
French or English to ride far, on the chance of making
swift, perilous attacks and bringing away prisoners.
But Pierre could not believe that any English knights
would venture beyond Orleans through the dauphin's
country to Loches. He was for stopping his horse,
but Brother Pasquerel dragged the bridle forward.
Brother Pasquerel was a black friar, the robe most in
favor with Burgundy; but those coming might be
neither Burgundians nor Armagnacs, though wearing
the badge of both.
" Ride for your life, my son ! They are following
" But who would hurt a friar, Brother Pasquerel ? "
" I have not the desire to know ; and neither have
you come into Prance to meet single-handed such a
102 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC
company as rides yonder. We should not have left
the cover of trees until nearer Loches ; a monk and an
unarmed lad— what can we do but flee ? "
Pierre had no dread of the danger, and he spurred
" When I tell Jehannette I ran from the first lances
I saw, she may flout my coming to the wars as Jacque-
Pierre's horse was the one his father had ridden to
Vaucouleurs, large and sturdy for cart-drawing, but
of little speed. The friar's was an aged beast lent him
by the cure of Domremy. Pilgrims traveled afoot.
Brother Pasquerel had taken to horseback on Pierre's
account. As they pounded along turf, both refugees
knew the pursuit was gaining, and that it would be
impossible to reach the gates of Loches. Warmed to
the race, Pierre gauged the brimming Indre. It was a
narrow stream ; of its depth he knew nothing.
" Draw up your robe. Brother Pasquerel," he cried,
and dashed into the water. His horse sank to its neck.
Pierre knelt on his saddle, with his wooden shoes clasp-
ing the raised back, and helped the floundering creature
swim by keeping its nose afloat. It shot across, and
set fore hoofs on the opposite grassy brim. With a
struggle and a shake they were out, and he pulled up
Brother Pasquerel's horse by the bit. The Indre was
no barrier, but they were now on the same side as
Loches. Pierre did not ask himself what a maraud-
ing band expected to strip from a friar, whose vow of
poverty and manual labor was proclaimed by a habit
which could be seen as far as the man, or from a peas-
ant, whose ancestry guaranteed him Httle. He looked
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 103
again, and this time could see the arms of the pur-
suers. They were after any game, and what yielded
little would he the worse used.
The calcareous ridge on which Loches was built ex-
tended miles northward, being the ancient barrier of
the Indre. In places the rock became as sheer as a
wall, with turf upon its roof, which rose terrace above
terrace to table-lands ; or it receded in tail coves where
caverns had been left by fallen masses. As Pierre and
Brother Pasquerel rushed by in flight, they saw slab
doors in the I'ock. Chimneys of stone protruded, and
steps were carved up the face of the cliff, ascending to
other doors and windows. The front end of a viUage
packed securely in a mountain looked down on the
passing world. The road here was printed with sheep-
tracks. These cliff-dwellers had flocks and hidden
folds. Pierre knew nothing about the rock-burrowing
peoples of this southern province. He had not a long
sight, like Jeanne, to distinguish doors and windows
from the break in the forest where he had first seen
the cUffi ; but the strangeness of such habitations did
not touch him, for splash and yell in the direction of
the Indre testified that the pursuit was nearly up. On
his right hand a hole as large as a church widened its
gloom. Pierre took to the cavern as he had taken to
the river. Pieces of fallen rock lay before it. Under
its roof he leaped from his horse, and Brother Pas-
querel slipped from the saddle also. The openiug had
doors. Pierre saw them folded back against the rock
—strong slabs, riveted together with bolts of iron.
He clapped them shut, and lifting a bar of oak which
made him stagger, set it in sockets across both leaves.
104 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC
Daylight came over the top of this gate, but it was
high enough to form a good defense. Lance-butts
soon pounded it, and horses trampled outside. A
jargon of words proved what mongrel herd demanded
toll there. With oaths which made Brother Pasquerel
stop his ears and Pierre harken with astonishment,
they threatened fire and siege, and chopped the doors
with axes. The oak was like rock. Pierre felt secui'C
enough to glance behind him. A blacker gallery pen-
etrated under the hill, and the odor, so well known to
him, was that of a sheepfold. Above were jagged
rifts, and in one place the earth had parted, showing
a thread of sky. Brother Pasquerel sat down on a
stone, pushing the cowl off his head. Heat glowed
from his mild, dark face. Light above the barrier and
through the upper chink sunk by grades of shadow to
gloom along the rock floor and in hollows scooped by
the wintei-'s action. The horses stood panting with
their heads down, steaming from their plunge in the
Indre. Pierre stroked the cart-horse's face.
" Poor old fellow ! If my father ever hears of this
ride, he will forgive thee for falling lame when Jehan-
nette went away. But if they break down the doors
and leave me here, do thou fall lame under them every
time they bestride thee."
The hard-breathing creature snorted, shaking froth
from its lips, and out of the hill gallery came an an-
swering whinny ; the cavern was a stable as well as a
fold. Though ordinarily quick and resourceful on his
own hills, Pierre wondered what he should do hand to
hand with these troopers if the barriers gave way.
A closed door is a fearful thing when we do not know
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC 105
the dread that lurks behind it, but much more fearful
"when it is strained and shaken by recognized foes.
Neither he nor Brother Pasquerel understood half
that was said outside ; for it was the speech of mer-
cenaries gathered from all parts of Europe. As in
Paris a butcher had led mobs and ruled the city, so
among these roving bands the strongest and bloodiest
man became leader, whatever his nationality.
Breathlessly watching the gates with eyes stUl
blinded by daylight, neither of the two inside saw
steps that were hewed in the cavern at the left of the
entrance. Hearing a woman's voice, Pierre turned,
and saw a door at the top of steps ; and there was a
maid about Jeanne's age leaning out to look at the in-
truders. If the sky had opened, or the cleft overhead
parted wide, it would not have astonished him more.
He noticed with instant receptiveness her high
pointed head-gear, the like of which was unknown in
his coimtry, the tight-fitting robe, and her bright hair
shining where no sun glistened on it. Only the fair-
haired were considered beautiful in the middle ages.
This woman was as white as any saint, and Pierre
took off his cap to her.
" Who are you, and why have you come in here ? "
she demanded ; and he thought of Jehannette's voice,
though the tone was different.
" "We be only Brother Pasquerel and Pierre d'Arc,
and robbers outside drove us in."
" Do you know they are threatening our lives and
trying to break the house door down ? "
" No, demoiselle ; we knew nothing of that."
" Can't you hear their threats ? "
106 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC
" The speech of such people is strange to me, de-
moiselle. I come from the march of Lorraine. Let
me into the house, and I will keep the door."
"Why don't you come up, then?" she impatiently
cried. "You brought this danger at your heels, and
there is n't a man to stand before us."
Pierre mounted in haste, his wooden shoes bumping,
and the friar followed. They were close to knocking
their heads on the top of the room they entered, where
the natural curves of rock stooped low like a scroll-
work of clouds, but rose high in gray sweeps over the
center of the large place. The door behind them was
instantly barred by a peasant woman with a chUd on
one arm. It clung to her neck in terror of the sounds
at the front of the house, and she herself was wild-eyed.
Straggling locks of hair escaped from her cap.
" Oh, messires," she lamented, " if the good friar can
pardon me for saying it, why did you take hiding in
our sheepf old, when a little farther on is the cave of
Roehecarbon, and his door hath stronger timbers than
ours ! This comes of my husband not shutting the
gates when he leads the sheep out. The demoiselle
will be misused or carried off for ransom. Besides,
my children are in the field overhead with their father."
"Hush, Marguerite," said the demoiselle; "people
cannot choose caves in times like these. Joseph will
hide the children."
" He may come to the chimney to speak to me, and
the freebooters will drag him down."
She knelt on the hearth and looked up the wide flue,
her usual tube of communication with her husband at
his labors. The child on her arm strangled with
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC 107
smoke, and she set it down, stretching her own lean
neck over the coals to see if there was a face at the top
of the stack. She called the man's name, and, failing
to get any reply, sat down on the rock floor and leaned
her head against the wall.
Benches were piled against the front door. It looked
as thick as the gate of a town, and was fastened by
double bars. Above it two square holes were cut in
the stone for air, and Pierre mounted the benches to
see what his assailants were doing. The active de-
fense feU on him, for Brother Pasquerel knelt in a
corner, not permitted to do violence on man. Pierre
had come into Prance weaponless, excepting a sheath-
knife at his belt. There was not even an ax on the
walls. In northern provinces when peasants were
attacked they took to flight, but here they merely shut
themselves in. Notwithstanding the noise, he felt the
woman's terror was groundless. The boldest riders in
the kingdom could not break through stone, and for
passing over oak they must use something more pow-
erful than lance-points and hatchets. Free-riders
could not cumber themselves with implements for a
Brother Pasquerel quieted the woman and child, for
both shrieked when an arrow, shot at random, passed
through the opening near their single defender's head,
struck the opposite rock, and fell to the floor. Hidden
by inner darkness, he could see swarming about, or
sitting on horseback and holding bridles below the long
slope of rock waste, red-headed Scots, thick-limbed
English, Burgundian spearmen, their rich trappings
tarnished by a freebooting life, and unknown black-
108 THE DAYS OF JEAI^NE D'AEC
faced foreigners wearing smocks or blouses stripped
from peasants,— such a company as war and famine
and the license of the times drew readily together.
A horizontal storm of arrows swept into the sheep-
fold or against its oaken barriers. Near the house
door was an opening which Pierre took to be a well,
full cui-bed, and with a windlass and chain. While
archers wasted a few bolts on the place where their
quarjy had disappeared, men-at-arms swarmed to
" They no longer throw themselves against the door.
Are they in retreat ? " the demoiselle inquired.
" No," answered Pierre ; " they are taking to the pit
of water. One tui-ns the windlass. These are mad
feUows to drown themselves."
The demoiselle cried out, and turned toward the
" It is not a pit of water ; it is the mouth of Joseph's
granary. They can come through the granary into the
fuel-chamber behind this room."
Pierre took no thought what he should do, but found
himself in the fuel-chamber at the head of a dismal
staircase, and his fist shooting like a battering-ram
into the hairy face of an ascending man. As the
body bumped down the stones he gathered up a log of
wood and clubbed it for a weapon. A knife showed
its livid blade in the dark, and he sent down another
man. At that moment a pointed battle-ax struck him ,
and he heaved the log-butt forward at his next assail-
ant. The hatchet dropped, and he took it. How many
robbers were descending by chain and windlass to
flank the house could not be known. Pierre leaned
THE DAYS oV JEANNE D'AEC 109
over the steps with the wide-edged ax ready, but no
more came up.
It was not because houses farther along the village
had sent succor, for every door was barred by terrified
women, and laborers hid themselves in the fields over-
head. The demoiselle mounted the benches, and put
her foot on a bar to look out. For some reason known
to their own wild minds, the freebooters were drawing
off and galloping on toward Loches. They might
catch some unwary citizen outside the walls and pluck
him before turning to other fields. It was not worth
their while to dig or smoke out or take by assault
through a cavern a friar and a few peasants. By
squads, riding wildly, they trooped along the grass-
lined road, and stragglers ran to mount. She saw the
venturesome ones whom Pierre had knocked down
di-awn out of the pit by the men at the windlass, con-
soling themselves with little sacks of grain which they
dragged after them. Bloody and limping, they also
took last to horse. The sound of hoofs diminished
and died away along the hUl toward Loches.
She dropped down, declaring their flight. Pierre
changed the ax to his left hand, and grasped that
stinging place in his shoulder, which turned him sick.
He braced himself by the side of the door, and the
demoiselle saw red prints on the rock.
The cave shimmered and went to darkness before
his eyes. His first conscious sensation was maiden
shame, because his shoulder was stripped naked before
the demoiselle, and two thin scarlet lips from arm-pit
to nipple poured their thin stream of blood. Some-
body supported him on a bench, and it was the friar
110 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC
who leaned over him oiling and bandaging. Soldiers
wounded in battle had money distributed to them, and
in one house or another they might seek surgery and
tendance, paying each for his own hospital, for there
were no military hospitals. Pierre knew none of the
customs of war. He thought he smelt the flowers of
the lime-tree in his mother's garden, and Jehannette
was telling him she saw a vision through the pale
yellow bunches. His ears hummed. He was glad to
lie down with his head on a cushion and some covering
A long time afterward something touched his lips,
and he roused to find it was bread soaked in water and
wine. That was the food Jehannette liked best. The
demoiselle sat on a stool in front of him, and picked
pieces from a cup to feed him. Such kindness brought
the blood into his face as if the fever had rushed from
his wound, and he took the bites with great humilitj^,
keeping his eyes cast down. Joseph, the peasant, and
aU the children had come in from the fields on the roof,
and they gathered behind the demoiselle, admiring
everything she did. The oven-hole at the side of the
chimney was open. Marguerite held on one hip the
loaf she had taken from the oven, and on the other the
baby, while she watched also.
The elegant, slight shape of the demoiselle and her
small hands were brought so close to Pierre's notice
that he lay thinking how much clumsier was the make
of a man. "Women of his own country had not taught
him this. Without speaking a word, but like a
mother, she fed him, and he accepted it as his sweet
nature accepted every good. He had been born vrith-
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 111
out anxieties. When he lay at night facing the open
sky and thinking about his sister, it was the expectancy
of youth which stirred in him, not the anticipation of
Pierre dared scarcely look at the demoiselle, but he
contrasted her in his mind with the Widow Davide's
Haumette, who was very broad-featured and black-
eyed, a maid fierce at dancing, flaming in her red
petticoats, and more reluctant to go to mass than
Pierre himself. Haumette used to Idss him when they
were growing, for she was in love with young man-
hood. But before Pierre left home she had gone to
Goussaincourt to stay with her aunt; for there were
stories in Domremy about a Burgundian soldier whom
the Widow Davide had led out with practised thumb
and finger, and not because of any noise he made. In
Grreux the villagers held to Burgundy. Pierre had
often headed the boys of Domremy against the boys
of Greux. They fought on a strip of land between the
two villages, and Jehannette cried over him when he
went home bloody.
" Now I think you had better go to sleep," said the
demoiselle, after his last sop was eaten. Pierre will-
ingly shut his eyes, not to let her or the present mo-
ment slip from him, but to hide his weakness, of which
he felt ashamed.
Yet when a cow lowed down the chimney and waked
him it was late in the night. The fire had sunk to pink
ashes. Those blocks of open night over the door were
lost in the cave's obliteration. He could hear the un-
seen family snoring. The bench felt hard, and all the
springs of the hiUs trickled tantalizingly in his memory
112 THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'AKC
while he thirsted. How sweet was the forest-shaded
water at Bennont ! Did these cave-dwelling people,
who turned a pit into a gi-anaiy, have a drop to cool
their tongues with, except what flowed in the Indre ?
He sat up, wincing at the angry beating of liis wound,
and groped with one foot for his wooden shoes, which
the friar had drawn off, intending to unbar the door
and go down to the river. But Brother Pasquerel rose
from the darkness and put a jug of water to his
mouth. The jerking stream descended his throat until
it was forcibly taken away. Then he began to shiver.
His nurse raked open the ashes, and brought wood
from the fuel-room, and drew the bench to the
They both sat upon it, the old man holding the
young one half reclining against his shoulder for sup-
port and heat.
"Where is the demoiselle?" inquired Pierre, in a
whisper, loath to have her in that room mth so many
sleeping peasants, yet alarmed at losing sight of her.
" The man and his ivife took her on her horse to
Loches before nightfall."
" Why did you let them put her to such risks ? "
" She herself commanded it, and the thing was very
" Who is she. Brother Pasquerel ? "
"I know nothing of her, except that she is lately
come from Scotland, and this woman asleep in bed
was once her mother's servant."
" She is the whitest-favored maid I ever saw," said
" White or black, no woman hath favor of God who
THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'ARC 113
doth cany that cursed horn called the henmn perched
on her head."
" Was that a hennin, Brother Pasquerel 1 "
" A hennin it was ; and when I behold one with my
own eyes I cannot marvel that a friar has risen up to
preach against the evil thing in Paris."
Pierre had lost too much blood to be enlisted in the
crusade against hennins. In the flickering room be-
hind the friar and him the peasant's entire family
were stretched in one bed, which extended a dozen
feet beside the waU. There were green mineral stains
up the throat of the chimney, which tongues of flame
showed forth. Wind rumbled overhead. This was a
strange shelter, yet Pierre felt better housed than he
had been since leaving Domremy. He knew, what-
ever lay before him, he would be homesick for the
cave in time to come. He did not want to leave it,
and said to himself it must have been the fight that so
bound him ; for he did love that strip of land between
Greux and Domremy on account of the honest giving
and taking of blows there. "I have got my first
wound in this house," reflected Pierre.
"Have you seen the horses?" he inquired reluc-
"Yes, and they are well fed and stabled. These
people have a little grain to seU. The valley of the
Indre is not a desert like the Solange."
" It will be best for you to leave me here and push
up the valley of the Indre toward Tours," suggested
Pierre. " As for me, I must keep my face set direct
toward Jehannette. I cannot carry this wound out
of my way."
114 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC
"Neither wiH I leave you, nor wiU you leave me,"
overruled Brother Pasquerel. " Since it seems best to
push on your way, we wiU go together. Can you ride
to-morrow ? "
" As well to-morrow as next day."
" But you are weak from the blood-letting, and the
wound will be sore."
"A wound that hath cut through no bones will soon
heal; and my mother says miracles are wrought on
Jehannette's flesh and mine : no sore stays."
"We wall, then, make what speed we can toward
Chinon," said the friar; "and shorten the way by
putting these hiUs behind our backs without going
It was easy to find a path through the ridge where
the land dipped low, but nothing could shorten the
day's journey for Pierre. They started at daybreak,
with a sack of bread and a bottle of wine behind the
saddle of each. Pierre's face was leaden in color. At
noon the friar dressed his wound in fresh oil and
bands of serge. The rough cloth hurt him. He was
glad the air blew cool, for the hot blood bit his shoul-
der all day, and oftener than they found springs he
found a mighty thirst to quench.
Man is such a little creature creeping so near the
ground in the largeness of hills and woods and vaUeys,
and his vision diminishes so soon to the vanishing-
point, no wonder he loses his way. But the friar
steered their course as nearly westward as he could by
such landmarks as he had gathered from the untraveled
cave-dwellers. Clouds came up behind the ground.
The sky seemed to be driving and hurrying overhead,
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 115
marshaling its vapors out of space, and sifting them
from shape to shape to hurl along a low level ; yet if
one did not look up, it was nothing but the ordinary-
shadow of cloudy weather. Late in the afternoon a
yellow storm appeared in the west, sulphurous and
windy. It threatened much, but at first the rain which
met the travelers was a fine mist in the face, so imper-
ceptible that neither said, " It rains." Then long cur-
tains hanging far down the sky and pendulous at the
horizon swept upon them, beating fiercely. Water ran
down their bodies and dripped from their stirrups.
Pierre felt his wound washed through jacket and
body-garment and bandages. "When the two were
wettest the sun broke out, drenching the open land
with prismatic radiance, and triple rainbows arched
behind them. Their direct route had taken them past
few inhabited spots, and these were remote to right
or left. Brother Pasquerel began to turn his cowled
face anxiously toward Pierre, for whom he desired
night shelter. Wet grass and swarming vapors, and
the head on the saddle under some bush, would be
bad lodging for a wounded man.
The sun went down, shining through a single tree,
and seeming to cut it in two with fire. They rode on,
making haste over unbroken land. Though spontane-
ous growths were rank all about theii* horses' feet, the
soil was so white that it showed pallid in,f ar-stretching
distances, and kept daylight lingering upon it as
marble might have done.
In front of the riders appeared a figure with hands
and face like an old peasant, almost covered by the
pannier heaped high with lucerne which he carried on
116 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC
Ms back. He stood stiU. The fodder revealed a
tender greenness througli the dusk.
" We will ask that old man for lodging," suggested
"But he carries a miraculous load," said Pierre;
" there is no such green food for cattle at this time of
He changed before them, as they rode closer, into a
dwarfed tree, strangely marked on the stem, its
bunched top of switches thick set with tender leaves.
But behind this poor apparition and beyond a fringe
of trees, they saw for the first time something like a
needle-point against the sky, and guessed it to be the
spire of a church. Wherever there were churches
there were men ; or if this proved to be a broken-down
sanctuary,— and there were many such in the kingdom,
—the travelers might find some gable or crypt stUl in
condition to give shelter.
Pierre felt indifferent to the landscape. He sickened
with a growing faintness, and one spot of the dark
world was the same as another. He wanted to lie
down in the wet sward, and the friar had prevented it
an indefinite time when they stopped close by a but-
tressed wall. PieiTC braced himself with one hand on
the moss of a down-sloping window-siU. It was a
shame to leave a friar to tie the horses ; but when he
had slid to the ground Brother Pasquerel helped him
past buttresses and around a corner. A large portal
let them directly into a white church, of which night
seemed unable to take complete possession.
Pierre lay down by himself on one of the rough,
movable benches near the door. The massive stone
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 117
font supported on a low pillar was near his head, and
he stretched out his right hand for holy water, cross-
ing himself with an exhausted effort. A little light
shone out of one transept, but the body of the church
was dim. He could see, however, the arms of some
noble family painted on the wall opposite him, and
also blots of green damp high up near the arches.
Through tall, leaded windows the outside world seemed
to affect this isolated church. Pierre could imagine
the brightness of a sunny afternoon here. Wind
rolled in the vault above with a swell like the incoming
ocean tide; but to him, who had never heard that
sound, it was the voice of the woods over Domremy.
If Jehannette had sat on the bench beside him, or
kneeled on the lower bench to which it was attached
at the foot, he could scarcely have felt her nearer.
Perhaps she had rested in this church ; some part of
her remained there. And Pierre noticed by shadows
made in the whiteness of the stones what hollows were
worn along the center of the floor. Generations of
lads' feet, in wooden shoes like his, had stumped by
that path to confession or prayer. They and their
sisters came here every Sunday. As his eyes grew
used to the inclosure, and he rested from the pain of
motion, the cold, high altar at the end of the church
and the light in the transept were both forgotten.
He saw a small altar diagonally opposite him, near
the angle of the transept, standing dragged out froni
the wall as if its displacement were temporary. On q,
pedestal over the altar, so high that it caught the lasts
glimmers of Hght through stone-framed glass above
the portal, was a painted image as antique and simple
118 THE DAYS OF JBANNK D'AEC
as the Virgin at Bermont, a gilded, round-eyed St.
Catherine holding a book, and having the broken
wheel of her martyrdom leaning against her. The
royal maid of Egypt wore a crown, and smiled in-
sipidly. But under the figure was a dark gap left by
the removal of two stones from the wall. The place
was about breast-high to Pierre.
The unstopped hole, left perhaps by workmen be-
cause daylight failed, proclaimed that man was a near
neighbor of this church. And presently he heard
strange voices talking with the friar outside the door.
" The houses from which you come, are they not the
village of Fierbois ? " inquired the friar.
" That is the village of Fierbois," was answered.
"We have, then, reached St. Katherine de Fier-
" This is the church of St. Katherine. Is my brother
a pilgrim to the venerable shrine ? "
" Only a passer-by, for I return from a winter's re-
treat in the mountains of the Vosges. A young man
with me is lying wounded in the church; we met
free-riders near Loches. Can we have shelter with
you ? "
"Assuredly," answered the other; then a louder
voice spoke up :
"This monk is of the convent in Tours. I know
him by his habit, though the brethren have little to
do with men of my craft."
" Are you from Tours ? " inquired the priest, holding
the door open for Brother Pasquerel to enter. " We
have strange news from Tours."
" The ai'morer has spoken the truth ; I am a brother
THE BAYS OF JEANNK D'AKC 119
of the convent of our order there. What news have
you from Tours ? "
The priest forgot the wounded man as he shut the
last yellowness of daylight out, and a sudden accession
of night entered the church with the three. A rustic
acolyte came from the transept where the light burned,
and set flame to the tips of two candles on the altar
of St. Katherine. These white points in a hollow of
gloom surrounded by white walls made visible a small
space where peasants would kneel for evening prayers,
and showed the eagerness of two of the three figures
now occupying that space. Their lower parts were in
a stratum of dimness, churchmen's cassocks and ar-
morer's legs being lost beneath the starlike height of
the candles. The priest pointed to the hoUow behind
the altar. His low voice made echoes in remote
" There, this day, a miraculous sword was found.
"We are leaving the altar removed from its place and
the stones yet on the floor, that people may see where
the sword was embedded. There it has lain, tradition
saith, since Charles Martel drove the heathen back
"Wbere is it now?" inquired Brother Pasquerel;
and the waiting acolyte, obeying a sign from the
priest, went into the transept, and returned with a
slim, large-handled blade. It lay upon cloth of gold,
which covered his hands, and the three heads bent
" There be no such swords as this in the world to-
day," said the armorer. "That blade is no longer
forged. I wish I knew the man who made it ; I would
120 THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'AEC
give him plenty of employment. Mark you, here are
five crosses below the handle, just as the maid said
there would be."
" He speaks of the maid who sent him here to take
this sword from the wall," explained the priest. " It
has been guarded on the altar of our Lady while a
suitable scabbard was made. When we took it from
the hoUow it was crusted with rust ; but that fell away
as a scale, and left it shining as you see."
"What maid sent for it?" inquired Brother Pas-
querelj and Pierre listened, feeling his breath come
and go Kke the swell and ebb up in the arches.
"She is called Jeanne the pucelle," answered the
armorer. " AH Tours is astir about her, and an army
is gathering to march with her to Orleans."
" It is the maid who passed St. Katherine de Fier-
bois on her way to the king, and heard three masses
in this church," answered the priest. "That is the
news we have from Tours— a maid is to lead the armies
of France. And she had miraculous knowledge where
to find the sword of Fierbois; for we might have
leveled the walls in the search, but for her exact mes-
sage. No living person knew where that sword was
" I had my orders from the king to make her a com-
plete suit of mail and furnish her in aU needful arms,"
declared the armorer; "but no sword would do ex-
cept this. 'You will find it in the waU,' saith she,
'under the feet of the statue above the altai- at the
angle' of the transept.' And I thought to have my
journey for my pains, for she hath a soft, innocent
face. But, mark you, her unlettered tongue could
THE DATS OP JEANNE lyABC 121
answer better than the great doctors at Poitiers could
propound. They say it was a fine sight to see her
sitting alone before so many, and bearing their strait
examination with such sense and patience. The doc-
tors have sent abroad a letter to aU parts of Prance,
commending her employment by the king ; and during
my whole life my trade hath never been so brisk as
she hath made it within a week."
" Have you not heard of this maid among the hills
of the Vosges ? " inquired the priest.
" Yes ; I have heard of her. We were on her track
to Chinon or Poitiers, not knowing she was already
in Tours. It is her brother who sits there wounded
beside the holy-water font."
ERTRAND DE POULENGT grasped the
handle of a chain which hung beside the
closed gates of the Augustine convent to
ring for admission, when one gate-leaf
opened, and Pierre d'Arc came out. Made resplendent
by the dauphin as one of the household of the pueeUe,
in hose and tunic of new cloth, burnished cuirass,
with hat and plume, with leather shoes so light that
his feet seemed winged, with hatchet in girdle and
sword hung at his side, Pierre's handsome figure was
conspicuous on the street. The narrow Rue des Halles
had received its fullness of morning Hght, and every
round small stone of the paving shone warm and dry.
There was a bright grayness about Tours even in
cloudy weather, but when the sun shone out it was a
dazzling city full of joyful stir.
" Eh ! I was about to demand you of the friars," said
Bertrand ; " everything is so forward that the troops
will move to-morrow instead of next day. The pueelle
is about to ride out and review them. The horses are at
the door, and oflcers are waiting to escort her. Make
haste, sluggard ! Touf are too soft with the churchmen.'
THE DAYS OF JEANNE IVAEC 123
" I have some excuse in this half-healed cut that I
still cany ; but I stopped also to confession this morn-
ing," said Pierre. " Since Brother Pasquerel has been
appointed my sister's confessor— and glad I am it is
that good man one can love instead of some others I
have seen in this convent— he has fixed his eyes on
me in a way I cannot bear. It does go against me to
be righteous, Bertrand. I cannot stand up to it. How
do you stand it yourself ? "
"I ought to be a friar," responded Bertrand, with
irony ; " a monastic Mfe would bring out virtues that
are now hid in me."
Pierre rested his arm on his friend's shoulder as they
walked. " Yon are not the man you were, lad ; your
cheek has thinned and your eye has grown deep.
Sometimes I have qualms myself in this strange
eountiy. If it were not for the fighting ahead, I could
wish we were all children again, watching the cattle
hid in the island."
" It is the new squire that saps my cheek. By St.
Martin ! I am tired of these multitudes of men. At
Chinon we must have a page— one of these fellows
with a quill behind his ear, but quick with his sword
and his cursed tongue — you have seen the varlet ; and
now we have the equipage of a noble added— two
heralds, two servants, a steward, a confessor, and an-
other squire. The heralds, the servants, the steward,
and the confessor I am, by prayer and fasting, able to
embrace," said Bertrand, speaking with bitter delibera-
tion ; "but damn the other squire ! "
Pierre turned his laughing gray eyes affectionately
on his friend's bunch of light hair. Bertrand's hair
124 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC
jutted heavily forward, breaking into a curled mass at
the front. From crown to nape he was shorter than
from forehead to chin. It was the habit of his hat to
creep backward, uplifting its edge like a halo.
"Lad, I do love thee, and I invoke the saints that
my sister may not reform thee as well as the troops.
Concerning the following they give her, she has no
desire for it. The dauphin does it to show her honor.
Brother Pasquerel teUs me. It is the customary suite
of a person of dignity in arms. Soldiers and merce-
naries might hold her in slight regard if she had less."
" From a good knight like De Metz of Novelopont I
can take commands," pursued Bertrand; "but this
squire, who is put over me because he is older, he is
my chief trouble ; I have no other."
Pierre tightened his arm on Bertrand. They were
not the only pair moving linked in a half-embrace.
Tours was alive with roaring fellows, even at that
morning hour inviting everybody to go where drinking
was good, for pure joy that the troops were to march
so soon. They walked in the center of the paved
street, giving way to companies of horsemen, who
forced them often to the doors of overhanging house-
fronts. Shouts and the cHnk of armor and the rattle
of bits filled the town. From the direction of the
river-wall came that tinkle of hammers on metal which
told that aU the armorers of Tours were working all
hours of the day until late spring twilight, and the
credit of Charles of France among their craft was un-
limited. The miraculous maid was now security
enough for her sovereign. She had aU the strength
of heaven behind her. Men ran out of their shops.
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 125
and women leaned out of their windows, to see her
ride by in steel armor so Tburnished that it was as white
as light, her spirited horse, which had been given her
by one of the nobles that now flocked to court, con-
trolled by a skilled hand. Every day she practised
arms and tilted at quintain, a figure so balanced that
it must be struck fairly or overthrow the rider. And
there was also money to pay now for the equipment
of an army. Troops were gathering at Blois, the next
important town between Tours and Orleans. Yolande
of Sicily had found the open hand of Jacques Coeur of
Bourges more generous than ever on account of the
At the western end of the street stood St. Martin's
great church, flanked on one corner by a square gray
pile called the tower of Charlemagne. Its flying but-
tresses framed segments of a gauzy sky. Bertrand
and Pierre threaded their way around its side and be-
yond the western portal. Within sight was the town
house of Jehan Dupuy, the seignior of Roche-Saint-
Quentin,^ whose wife had guardianship of the maid in
Tours. The seignior of Eoche-Saint-Quentin was
Queen Tolande's man of affairs. His wife had been
the playmate and friend of Marie of Anjou. The
dauphin thought of no better place for his approved
agent while the troops were gathering than the house
of this faithful vassal.
Horses and varlets waited about the large portal.
Before ascending the stairs to the upper room where
Jeanne received people who came to see her, Pien-e
had formed what he wished to say to his friend. He
1 M. Henri DesWguil, Tours,
126 THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'AEC
had a lairge unconsciousness of self. Two or three
days had accustomed him to military dress. His good
■will extended to all the human race, and the curious
stare of the -waiting servants passed over him without
his feeling it. He bent his head closer to the other's
ear ; his dark-lashed eyes were serious.
"Bertrand, if you had not been with Jehannette
when she left Vaucouleurs, nothing could have kept
me from following her directly. I did not know the
other men ; but I knew you, and it made my mind
quite easy. Let the dauphin put an army of squires,
pages, and servants about her; who can ever be
trusted as you are?"
The shorter man looked up at Pierre, his face flush-
ing almost to tears, and whitening instantly imtil the
skin looked drawn on his features.
"My spirit is breaking, Pierrelo. It grows worse
and worse with me. I 'm glad you 've come to put
some manhood into me again. When we were in
Poitiers, and people yet doubted her, and she had to
sit and answer all kinds of puzzling questions put by
learned men, and there was a chance of her being
turned back from the dauphin's service, I thought my
heart would break if they refused her ; but now that
she has been accepted, and everybody is crowding
after the pucelle, I cannot endure that. Take me to
some convenient place, and knock me on the head with
your ax, Pierrelo. I am a poor creature."
"You are the best fellow I ever knew," declared
Pierre ; " and when we have something to do besides
waiting in lodgings for the march upon Orleans, it
wiU be better with you."
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AKO 127
They entered "witli the freedom of attendants the
large upper chamber where Jeanne was busy with
ofllcers, and the lady of Roche-Saint-Quentin sat by
with her embroidery. Pierre's figure fell into the at-
titude of waiting. He folded his arms, and watched
his sister's back and the short hair flying above her
tunic. He had noticed that her language was softened,
but there was change in her which life among the
courtly and learned could not make in a few weeks.
She was now the strangely commissioned virgin of
war, whose business was larger than he could yet
comprehend. Yet when he had come into Tours,
sick and sore, beside Brother Pasquerel, and met her
riding with the young Duke d'Alengon on a prancing
horse which that nobleman had given her, shining in
her burnished armor through the midst of a company
like a pageant, she cried to her brother, " Oh, Pierrelo ! "
and spurred up close to throw her mailed arms around
his neck. She was his same dear maid, but with every
motion of this new spirit showing in her face. Pierre
had no trafi&c with heaven himself, except in the
heartiest and most animal way, and he felt astounded
by the solid results of visions. For he had expected,
at the best, little more than permission to march on
foot with his sister to Orleans, and indulgence to break
the head of any man who insulted a maid-at-arms ;
but he found her the autocrat of an army, dictating
with the power of the church to old soldiers.
One of the two with whom she conferred was a
coiirtier, a tall, thin-nosed man, who said little, but
examined her with constant scrutiny. He leaned
against the wall, holding his plumed cap at his side, and
128 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC
crossing his feet, mth one long shoe resting on its point.
It was his friend who talked— a short and bristling man,
whose person seemed compressed lengthwise to enor-
mous strength. This was fitienne de Vignolles, who
always spoke of himself as La Hire, and never clartned
his particular body and soul with the pronoun I. The
two men were inseparable. In all their experience of
war, it was the first time they had been moved by the
thrill of a young voice declaring in their ears :
" We must clear the camps of sin. If we are to be
terrible to the enemy, it must be through religion.
Can God go before an army that continually blas-
phemes his name? When I rode among the troops
yesterday, and forbade their cursing, they said, 'If
Messire La Hire will stop it, we will stop it also.' "
" The varlets felt safe in promising that," remarked
La Hire, winking aside at his tall friend. " La Hire
hath the best name in France for a plump oath that
fills the mouth from jowl to jowl and tongue to roof;
and it doth taste as sweet as meat, pucelle."
" La Hire would burst if he could not swear," said
the tall knight.
" Yea ; Poton knows La Hire well. Eef orm Poton
de Xantrailles. He is a mannerly man, and would
repay the labor it cost to make him a Christian."
" I often curse the bad habits I learn of La Hire,"
said the tall knight.
" But he is a bride to me," declared La Hire. "La
Hire would be glad to curse for Poton and himself
both, and save Poton the sin."
" You must not swear." Jeanne's voice was silver,
but it went through hearers Uke iron.
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AKC 129
" Oh, pucelle, do let La Hire swear ! It is impos-
sible—" the stout warrior threw his hands from side to
side. "La Hire was born swearing, as other babes
were born squalliag, and he must swear."
"You can say 'En nom D6,'" suggested Jeanne,
"which is the same as a prayer in my country."
" Oh, if La Hire began with the name of God, he
would never stop while there was a saint left in the
calendar. Let him swear, pucelle. He can jarnedieu
an Englishman speechless, though with their poor
rough language the EngUsh do swear as well as they
" No ; you shall not have leave even to jarnedieu in
the army of God. If swear you must, swear by this
rod I hold in my hand. No harm can come of swear-
ing by a baton carried by a maid."
" Swear by nothing but a stick when heaven is full
of good, mouth-filling stuff ! ' Oh, puceUe ! " groaned
the culprit. " La Hire would not lay a stick in thy way,
but thou hast put one in his. Oh, by my baton ! "
He turned Hke a bull in distress toward the two
young men, grinning in wrinkles of sun-hardened
flesh; and Jeanne turned also, laughing, but with a
rainbow laugh made partly of tears. The entreaty
swimming in her eyes, and the swelling of her inno-
cent throat, brought La Hire to the baton as no fanatic
command could have done. In his heart he did revere
her as a saintly chUd. She moved before the troops,
a mysterious presence lent for a purpose. There was
at that time such brutal license in the camps of Europe
as gentler races are now incapable of. " Men-at-arms,"
says a chronicler, " resembled mercenaries badly paid
130 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC
by the king. Eape, incendiarism, assassination, cost
them little ; blasphemy cost them nothing." Yet such
men had their adorations. The habits of the pucelle's
life were talked of among them. She would not re-
ceive or have speech with anybody after sunset, and
a woman always slept in the same chamber with her.
The lady of Roche-Saint-Quentin remained beside her,
except when she rode out to practise horsemanship in
the sight of the troops.
Jeanne's armor lay piled ready upon a table, where
the sun struck it, making bosses of fire, and turniag
the many diminishing plates of the fingers into
gauntlets of sparkles. She put herself directly in the
hands of her squire to be armed, but Bertrand had
not taken up a piece when she remembered to summon
the men after her through a door at the end of the
room. It led into one of the carved cabinets of that
period, a narrow place, with one entire side of leaded
glass, containing a long bench or table. On this was
stretched a banner of the white linen then so uncom-
mon in France that garments of it were considered
treasures of royalty. On the surface lying uppermost
was painted a figure like our Lord's, seated on a rain-
bow, with clouds underfoot, holding the globe in his
hands. The name " Jhesus " was emblazoned in letters
of gold. Jeanne lifted the banner in both hands and
displayed the other side, where two kneeling angels
each offered the Virgin a Hly. Golden fleurs-de-lis
sprinkled the white ground, and the name "Maria"
shone there. It was to be supported haJf its length
by a rod along the top fitted into a spear.
" Here is my standard," said Jeanne ; " it has been
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 131
painted exactly as it was commanded. And the
daughter of Messire Paure/ the painter, has helped
me with the needlework."
De Xantrailles examined the work with his mocking
courtier's smile, and said to her :
"It is a pity to lose hands from the tapestry that
can set stitches like these."
" There are enough women left in Prance to sew and
spin," answered Jeanne, seriously. " Though I thank
God my mother taught me to handle needle and dis-
taff as well as any maid in our valley."
La Hire took between finger and thumb the sacred
fringe edging the banner, which Bertrand looked at
without touching ; but Pierre's eyes went past it to a
maid sitting at the end of the room stitching a white
pennon. She was the demoiselle he had seen in the
cave house at Loches.
Pierre was not bold enough to claim her notice, and
she sat without lifting a glance from her needlework,
small hairs above her ears stirring in the air which
came through an open pane. Hid like something
precious in this inner room, she held herself aloof from
aU the men alike; but when Jeanne approached her,
the pair talked eagerly together in familiar tenderness
that warmed Pierre's imagination. He was able to
picture to himself their hours of stitching and talking
in this nest of carved wood and glass overlooking an
old garden, while the lady of Eoche-Saint-Quentin sat
guarding them in the outer room. How a painter
who had accepted from the dauphin twenty-five livres
1 " Her standard was executed after her instructions by a
Scotch painter, James Power, resident in Tours."— Maeius Sept.
132 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC
tournois for painting this standard could be tlie father
of a demoiselle puzzled Jeanne's brother less than it
would have puzzled a courtier. For Pierre neither
poverty nor rank existed. Enough to eat and to
wear, hiUs, valleys, and cattle for a possession, and
vineyards as well, had been the rule of his life. There
was no superior to bow to except the cur6, and one
bowed to the cure for religion's sake only. The divine
right of kings was then part of every man's creed, and
if the dauphin had crossed his path, he would have
dropped to his knees before that earthly deity; but
Pierre knew his sovereign only by hearsay.
"This is Pierrelo," said Jeanne, showing him to
her friend; "he is almost cured of the wound he got
It seemed to Pierre Hke a story of fairy work that
he should meet this demoiselle in Tours, and it gave
him a sense of greater things to come ; for towns even
in the same kingdom were then as remote from one
another as continents now are. He thought about her
all that day, and the few words she spoke to him as if
she had forgotten feeding him bread and watered
wine at Loches. The Scots were a cold people; but
when he took opportunity to ask his sister more about
her, nding through the camp, he found that the Scot's
daughter was also French.
The Loire, the longest river in France, was then
Charles's northern boundary, and Tours is on the south
bank. The troops were to march along the north
shore and join the main army at Blois. They had
camped in the vineyard country, a good league on
their way. Provisions and cattle, which Touraine was
THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'ABC 133
sending for the revictualing of Orleans, streamed all
day along the road leading to camp ; for the convoy
was to move next daybreak.
Pierre loved the Loire better than any other sight
in Tonrs. It was a stream of promise coming down
from Orleans, the city of battle. The full volnme of
spring rolled in its bed. Scarcely a shallow was left
in the wide expanse, though no river inclined more to
shy around rocks, or pay its transparent silver pieces
over shelves of gravel. There were meadows within
its ancient barriers. An embankment along its
northern shore from Blois past Tours to Angers had
existed since Carlovingian times, and the mighty river
was further girdled in by a range of tower-like cliffs,
where house-doors, seen from the city, showed as dark
rabbit-holes; for in this calcareous rock people had
burrowed when the Romans entered Gaul.
Pierre galloped back from the camp toward Tours
about sunset, having been left by the pucelle to bring
her a last word from the troops before the gates
closed. The Loire was then a pink-and-yellow glory
at its western disappearance. Shifting islands in the
channel, gigantic compared with the channel of the
Meuse, looked warm in the dispersing glow. Women
in the cave houses yet appeared at their open doors,
and the heads of peasants in the fields on the cM-top
sometimes showed against the sky. Nearly all the
convoy had reached its destination for the night,
though a few belated carts were yet to be seen, and
the last straggling men were hastening on foot from
Tours. As cliffs darkened and river dimmed, the cave
houses closed, and became by means of their air-holes
134 THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'AEC
a long constellation of little stars. Aiead of him,
Pierre saw two men seizing a woman— a small crea-
ture carrying a basket on her arm, and wearing a
peasant's cloak and petticoat and shoes, and convre-
chef over her head. She screamed when the men
made their onset, but struggled against them without
a word, a solitary creature between inhabited bluffs
and lonesome river. Pierre spurred at them in such
rage that he felt he should split them to the breast-
bone. Something about the timid figure reminded
him of Mengette. But they dropped her cloak and
took to their heels in dismay, for men of the camp al-
ready began to know him.
" It is the brother of the puceUe ! "
He wheeled to chase them, but thought better of it,
and reined in his horse and leaped ofE. The woman
had picked up her cloak. She threw it over her
tumbled bright hair and head-cover, shuddering away
from Pierre's side, while he had not a word to say,
for the fading sky showed him that she was the de-
moiselle Power. At that moment she was the safest
woman in Touraine.
The demoiselle tried to laugh, her under lip stiU
quivering. Pierre saw how young she was. The
hennin and feminine hardy-coat had given her dignity
which she lacked in peasant clothes. These garments
brought her close to him, as if there had been old ac-
quaintance. His passion for this half -foreigner began
then, with the Loire and the twinkling cliffs and
evening sky as its witnesses.
" I am much beholden to the brother of the pucelle,"
she said when she could command her breath.
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC 135
"Let me lift you to the saddle," Pierre urged;
" there be other varlets on the road di'unker than the
" No ; they "will note me more on the saddle than on
" But I will walk beside the horse's head, demoi-
"In that case they will pelt me with words worse
" En nom De, demoiselle, what shall I do ? "
" The road was never so bad before, and I was never
so lafce. If you can come with me to St. Martin's well,
and then let me walk near the horse while you ride
back to Tours, I shall be safe."
" Let you walk while I ride ? I cannot."
" Then I shall have to beg some woman in one of
these cave houses to take me in imtU morning, as I
had already thought of doing, for the gates of Tours
will be closed ; but to-morrow I may meet other varlets
on the road, and you will be gone with the troops."
Pierre felt the fact shock thi-ough him— he would be
gone with the troops.
" I wiU do your bidding, demoiselle."
" Then let us make haste to St. Martin's fountain."
The necessity of human company kept her not far
before him as they turned their backs on fields and
banks of sand which made the ancient beach of the
Loire. Down a lane burrowing along the cUfE-side,
with trees and rocks betwixt it and the highway, Pierre
and his horse followed the demoiselle. She came to
an oblong of darkness in the mountain base, which
could be entered by descending many rude steps.
136 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ABC
Pierre tied his horse, and descended the steps with
her. She took out a key and unlocked a gate at the
bottom. There was a cold pavement of rock under
When she had unlocked the gate, some perception
of her own unusual conduct made her turn upon him.
" Do not enterhere with me."
" I thought you wished me to enter with you, demoi-
Bareheaded, Pierre ascended the steps to wait ; but
she called him, a child's fear of the dark in her voice.
" I cannot go in there with you, and it is so dreadful
to go into the dark alone."
" Let me go in for you, while you remain outside."
" No ; you do not know the place, and you would
walk headlong into the well. It is sheer rock, and
though the pebbled bottom be white as milk and the
water Kke crystal, it would close in darkness over your
" Then it is no safe place for a young maid to ven-
ture after nightfall."
" This is the first time I have so ventured. I have
been all the afternoon hiding from noisy villains along
the road from Tours. The woman who keeps the key
of this gate, and opens to pilgrims, had gone up to
labor in the fields over the houses, and I was obliged
to follow her."
" Why did she not come with you ? "
" I do not pay her. She is kind to let me have the
key, and risk its lying under a stone after I have again
locked the gate."
The demoiselle took her basket from her arm and
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 137
gave it to Pierre to hold. He had not meddled with
it before, and he hardly allowed himself to see what
it contained. She took out four wine-flasks, all fas-
tened by their necks to a long loop of cord, and bade
him set the pannier on a step. Above them in the
zenith was yellow twilight, deepening its shadows to
the dusk rocks about them. Her eyes, he saw, being
near them, were black ; her skin had a white pallor as
she faced him.
" I do not know how to govern myself ; my mother
is dead. On one side is my mother's noble family,
who are not dear to me ; on the other side is my father,
who loves me. When we were in Scotland we lived
simply like peasants, but when we come back to France
everything I did there seems wrong. It is very puz-
zling. Did you ever try to obey two laws of con-
Pierre shook his head. " One law of conduct hath
been more than I could master, demoiselle."
"Yet I think," she reflected, "that my father and
my grandmother and aunt De Beuil would agree in
this matter, that the pucelle's brother might lay hold
on my hand to keep me from falling into the holy
well of St. Martin."
" They would certainly be agreed," afflrmed Pierre.
She relaxed, and drew a long breath of relief.
"We must therefore enter the cavern together.
Please hold my hand."
In that primal blank of darkness safety became the
first himian instinct. She slid her feet obliquely for-
ward, holding his fingers with her left hand. Pierre
had taken off his mailed glove. He felt with joy her
138 THE DAYS OF JEANNE IVARC
reliant clutch as the smaU nails set themselves into his
flesh. The demoiseUe paused.
" I am glad you came in here with me," she breathed,
and her low voice woke sounds in the blackness.
" PUgrims have walked on this cold stone barefoot to
holy St. Martin's weU ; but even at midday, when the
place is only a chamber of gloom, I dread it. The
peasants say there are seven martyrs, who all perished
in one day, lying far back ia this cave. They call that
portion the Grotto of Seven Sleepers. But I am afraid
of hearing bones rattle."
She recoiled, and Pierre steadied her with both
" I was standing on the brink."
"Let me draw the water," he urged; "I see the
He was answered by the splash of the bottles, which
she had already lowered. The jerking gurgle of their
drinking necks could be heai'd until they sank, and all
the time the cavern was dawning to sight, from its sky
of rock to the mouth of the fountain beside the left
wall. Beyond there was nothing but black negation,
a huge place choked as with thick substance of night.
"They are full," said the demoiseUe, bringiag her
dripping bottles to hand. "WiU you taste of St.
" I will drink after you.''
She touched a bottle to her lips, and gave it to him.
"Make haste! It is almost night, and the gates of
Tours will be closed; but yon will be blessed for
making this pilgrimage and drinking in the cave."
" I am blessed already," said Pierre. " In my whole
THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'AEC 139
life I shall never again drink such water. If we came
here every day it might make a good Christian of me."
She stopped the bottles, and put them in her pannier,
and locked the gate, hiding the key under a stone by
the top step. Pierre was for carrying the pannier,
but she commanded him:
"Mount, and leave the pannier to me. It is my
safeguard. Ride a few steps behind me. I shall be
safe if you ride near me through the city gates. They
will be closed, and I may have trouble there."
" It is a long walk."
"The journey is nothing to me. I come twice a
week, because my father is not able to make the pil-
grimage, and he requires the water for a malady of
" Does he send you thus ? "
" He does not send me at all. He thinks I pay one
of these peasants to carry it to him; but we are too
poor, and it is too hard for my father to get money
for me to give it foolishly to peasants when I can come
here myself. I have been here four or five times, and
there was never danger for a woman in these clothes
until the troops began to gather. My old nurse in
Loches gave my father these shoes and petticoat, and
I often put them on when he wished to make pictures
of peasants, and so thought of wearing them to this
fountain. I never had anything to wear in my life,"
confided the demoiselle, " except what belonged to my
mother; and grandeur is not as fit for me as these
things of Marguerite's."
In the wide dusk and among broken rocks her small
figure looked very small, and her miniature face too
140 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC
fine for lowly carriage along the flinty road. Pierre
felt that he could not mount, but she set off briskly.
He noticed her sabots did not squeak as they would
have done under the tread of a heavy peasant. The
right one flew off, and skated along the indistinct
track. He ran, and brought it to her. The demoiselle
stood on one foot like a bird. She stepped into it as
he placed it before her, wriggling a small inmate in a
large house. " The wool is out of the toe, but do not
search for it. I am so late already my father will be
" Do not speak to me," she added, looking back from
the highway ; " if I need you I will call."
Pierre's horse was one of mettle, such as Charles
had provided for all the pucelle's train. He had sold
the cart-horse in Tours, and had the pieces of money
sewed up in a fragment of cloth in a pouch which
hung from his belt, for there might be a chance of
returning it to his father. The horse strained eagerly
to dash forward. He held it curveting, while the
small figure ahead of him, hiding terror under dark-
ness, flew along the level way, or dipped into hollows,
or turned spurs of the hill. In all his shepherd Hfe
he had never driven to the fold so sweet a lamb. His
face burned with the shame of sitting a saddle while
she waded the night on a peasant's footing. The Loire,
gathering all the light that remained, lay, a steel-
smooth sheet, where the sun would have shown its
mUlion variations of surface. In the distance across
its channel twinkled Tours, St. Martin's great basilica
and towers standing up against the void.
He did not know she was running back until his
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 141
heart gave a great plunge with the horse. She called
him by the name she had heard his sister call him :
" Pierrelo ! "
Afterward, in hand-to-hand fights, in ditches, whUe
sealing walls, Pierre remembered her voice calling to
him tlirough the night, and it stirred him to the ut-
most. He was on the ground and answering her
before she reached him.
" There is something in the road that struggles and
groans. Perhaps a man has been wounded, and left
"Stay here until I go forward and see what it
She lingered close at his elbow. He could hear the
terrified beating of a maid's pulses. " Oh, if I were
home with my father ! I am ashamed," she breathed.
Pierre jerked down the rearing horse. Any man
who lay dying in the road deserved to die for shocking
her with the fact that she was out of her place. But
the object of which the horse was so afraid was noth-
ing but a fallen ox.
" Poor f eUow ! " said Pierre ; " he is doubtless only
left until his master brings help."
After that they met two or three horsemen, and so
entered the long bridge which spanned the Loire to
the walls of Tours. It was covered, hke many of the
bridges of that period, and threatened them, an end-
less tunnel of darkness starred by a few torches burn-
ing in sockets at long intervals. PieiTe put his arm
through the bridle, and walked close behind the dem-
oiselle. When night was heaviest upon them she
felt his grasp helping her with the basket, this visible
142 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC
protection being removed whenever they reached the
dazzle of one of the smoky torches. Such places were
the favorite haunts of cutthroats. But the bridge was
fortunately cleared by the many passers who had
stirred its dust that day, and sentinels at the city gates
let in a belated peasant and the brother of the pucelle
Candles shone through leaded panes, and a moving
lantern or two could be seen, but the city had lost its
" Good-by," said the demoiselle, in the open space to
which the street here expanded ; " I have but a step to
go beyond St. Jidien's church." Pierre, leading his
horse, still walked behind her.
Her swift sabots drew him in silence past the sunken
portal of St. Julien, and through a street which turned
to the left beyond it. Here houses seemed to hiiddle
against them as they passed, and windows were barred.
It was dark and winding. They came to a house-front
overhanging the street, and Pierre could see against
blacker walls the head and shoulders of a man thrust
past an open sash, listening to the noise they made
upon the stones below.
"Madeleine?" the man spoke, his voice betraying
aU he had suffered ; and the demoiselle answered joy-
fully, "Yes, father."
" Now he has found who carries the water from St.
Martin's well," she said with regret. They stood under
the overhanging front, and she felt in her basket for
a key. Pierre took from his pouch the money the
plow-horse had brought, and as she sought the lock he
hid it in her pannier.
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ABC 143
" Your father will never let you go to that fountain
again," said Pierre, with a breath of relief.
" No ; he will sit with his hands in his hair, as he
did when my grandmother's people were obliged to
journey back with me from Loches. But those who
will not countenance him shall not have me."
" You love your father."
"As I love none other, except the pucelle. She
chose him to paint her standard. The cruel people of
the cathedral would not accept his picture ; but she
chose him when she might have had another painter.
For that I love her."
The door opened from within, and, dark as the place
was, Pierre could see the womanish, nervous hands
which seized a belated daughter. He turned with the
horse, and drew away from touching more closely the
sacred family life existing there. He mounted and
spurred out of the street, knowing that he was for-
gotten because her father's kiss was on her cheek.
HE last days of April were chilly in the
Vosges. Old ridges of snow yet lay along
the bleak hilltops, though a driving rain
washed the white roads and carried yel-
low rivulets from the village manure-heaps. When
Durand Laxart came home from the fields he no
longer took pleasure in his house. His wife was in
her fourth day of mourning for their dead chUd, and
her face was relaxed and sodden with the tears which
had flowed over it. His mother and the neighbors
and the priest had been able to quiet her first clamors ;
but she did not eat, and wept in silence through the
nights. Durand himself missed the baby, and felt
shorn of a future by its death, having little heart to
work among his sheep or sow his grain, though the
coimtry had never been so free from fear of Burgun-
dians. But fathers seldom miss very young children
as mothers miss them. With male impatience at the
pain he could not relieve, he thought of beating it out
of her with a stick ; but, being a tender soul too easily
pulled about by women, still postponed the task.
April rain stung the sashes and swept northward
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 145
up the Meuse. The man, hearing it, was thankful for
shelter; but the woman, dropping her face in her
" It doth beat on our little Catherine's grave."
" In God's name," said Durand, " is not the chUd in
paradise ? I have been thinkiag in the fields that they
are the happiest who have no children in days Hke
these. See the widow Davide at Domremy; her
Haumette hath become a scandal."
" See my aunt Isabel Eom^e at Domremy," retorted
Aveline, " robbed of both her children. Nothing has
gone well with us since you took it on yourself to carry
Jehannette to Vaucouleurs."
Durand looked at her without defense, for the result
of his deed was yet hidden from him. No word had
come to Domremy or Bury-la-C6te since the envoys
from Poitiers departed. That remote march, sepa-
rated from France by so much hostUe country, would
be the last to feel the movements of armies. Durand
was sore with his responsibility.
" And if Jehannette raises sieges," taunted Avehne,
" what profit wiU it be to thee ? "
"We be all profited, should the English be driven
" But who pays for the horse she rode to Chinon ? "
" Jacques hath paid for that."
"France is nothing to me," wailed the bereaved
woman, twisting her hands, and wandering around the
earthen floor. " I want the body of my child, that I
may feel it in my arms ; and I wiU have it this night,"
she cried, "to hold on my breast tUl momiag. My
mind is made up. Get your shovel," commanded Ave-
146 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC
line, having no longer the terror of man or priest or
death before her eyes. "You must come and take
Catherine out of the grormd."
Durand sat still with his mouth open. It was Ave-
line who went and brought the shovel from another
chamber. Her dumpy figure startled him to his feet
with a momentum which appalled him.
" But a man is not permitted to break open a grave
in consecrated ground."
" A woman is permitted, even by heathen people, to
have her own child."
" Let me bring my mother in," coaxed Durand ; " she
will give thee a posset, Aveline."
His wife, weeping distractedly, put a covering over
her head, and challenged him to slight her appeal. " I
will with my own hands tear the child out of the
ground. Is it so far to the churchyard ? It was far-
ther to Vaucouleurs. Oh, it is easier for a man to rob
a mother than to give her back her child."
Yieldiag again to the unheard-of demands made on
him by the women of his family, Durand followed her
out of the door. Southward, above the village, where
the road turned toward the backbone of the hiU, there
was a cross where passers might kneel ; and he vowed
never to pass it again without a prayer if his patron
saint would help him in this strait. He hoped the
cwc6, going to see some sick person, would meet them,
and inquire their errand, and forbid it. Yet his wife's
passionate motherhood so stirred him that he rubbed
moisture from his eyes with his hard knuckles.
The pair had only to cross the street in pouring
rain, for the cover of great horse-chestnut-trees shel-
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC 147
tered them quite into the churchyard. Houses in
Bury-la-C6te were built in any place which suited the
convenience of dwellers. Blank house-sides walled
the corners of this inclosure, and here weeds of the
previous summer, bent by manj' wiuds, lay half pros-
trate. It was not a dark night, for a moon drove
somewhere overhead. AVhen Durand turned to look
behind, he could see the thatch and the brown-ridged
tUe of roofs showing sleek in the rain. The square-
towered, low-buUt church stood in the center of its
allotted ground. Aveline hurried along a stony walk,
past wooden crosses, and the moss-grown stone cross
of the crusader with carved swords overlapped on its
arms. Durand followed like a thief. He now turned
his mind to hoping she would be satisfied by looking at
the little bed, without robbing herself of the comfort
of praying there. It was close to the west wall of the
church, outlined with river pebbles set by the mother's
hand, and marked by a small cross of unhewed branches.
The dead then menaced a peasant's mind. They
walked about him in darkness, near and familiar
friends becoming silent and terrible visitors ; and he
dreaded them as he dreaded spells cast by witchcraft.
Besides, Durand did not know what punishment he
might bring upon himself by meddling with conse-
"Dig," commanded Avehne, raking the pebbles
away. She felt the brine of her own tears, but not
the rushing wetness of the night.
" Attend ! " cautioned Durand, listening, with his
foot on the shovel. The woman listened, and beat
her hands together in a spasm of haste.
148 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC
"It is my child crying under the ground ! " She
pierced and scooped the earth with her fingers in such
fierce animal frenzy as set Durand to shoveling with
all his might.
" Attend ! " he spoke again, his senses returning.
" The cry is in the church."
Aveline, her hands weighted with loam, unwillingly
harkened also, the tone of authority in her husband's
voice startling her into obedience. The cry did come
from the church. She sat down, relaxing her body
on the wet ground, and rolled up her eyes at Durand.
Stone walls and the roar of falling rain muffled a very
young child's wail. Aveline scrambled on her feet,
and ran to the sunken walk at the front. The church
of Bury-la-C6te faced southward. Shivering with
superstitious dread, and considering what she would
make him do if the door were locked, — for couvre-feu
had rung,— Durand followed her a few steps. The
huge latch clanked and the hinges creaked. He held
his breath. Again the latch clanked, and Aveline
passed him, running from the church. He ran also,
leaving the shovel behind, and paused only at his own
hearth, abashed and puzzled by such a sight as has
puzzled many a man. His wife sat with an infant on
her knees, picking daintily at its wrappings with her
mud-stained fingers, plainly appeased, and ready to
turn from the earthen bed which held the body of her
own child to accept some other woman's cast-off bur-
den. All her sagging muscles Hfted with satisfaction,
and she bade him look at the creature's black eyes.
" We have our maid Catherine back," Aveline said,
wagging her head aggressively. " Her good saint hath
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 149
taken pity on me this night, for I was beside myself
—that thou knowest." She lifted the child in her
arms, and kissed its broad features with devouring
" It hath the look of Haumette Davide," pronounced
Durand, with disgust.
AveUne faced him down. " Never name Haumette
Davide to me again. In my lifetime she hath not set
foot in the church of Bury-la-C6te. The child looks
like our Catherine."
"Butitistoo young ; our Catherine was three mouths
old ; and this, though lusty, is but a new-born babe."
" What does a man know of the age of young chil-
dren? They are aU lumps of wax aUke to him. I
found it close by the holy- water font. A miracle hath
been wrought. Oh, you can believe that blessed St.
Catherine would show herself to Jehannette, but you
laugh at her taking pity and restoring a child to a
poor, broken-hearted mother. Jehannette herself
would not laugh."
" You do not believe that this is Catherine, or that
any miracle hath been done, Aveline ? "
She wavered, and cried out, "Will you take this
comfort from me ? "
And Durand put his arm around her neck, and swore
to the self-deception also, before returning to mend
Catherine's disturbed grave. " You shall keep it and
biTug it up ; and if any man says it was not laid in the
church by saints, he shall feel the smack of my fist ;
though, on my soid, its bands and wrappings do have
a look of Domremy, and the tongues of the women
I cannot control."
150 THE DAYS OF JKANNE D'ARC
There was, however, only one Durand Laxart in the
whole Meuse vaUey. Bury-la-Cote, being informed
by Groussaincoiirt, timed the appearance of the child
with the disappearance of Haumette Davide from the
coiintry. The infant's adoption might not have
reached Domremy until midsummer if the story had
not been winged by the miracle ; but Goussaincourt
promptly passed it on to Greux, and Greux could teU
it to Domremy without stirring from the door-steps.
" Aveline is like a hen," said Isabel Eomee. " Give
her anything to hover, and she is satisfied. They will
never make me believe the blessed St. Catherine, or
any other saint, would stoop to handle Haumette
Davide's bastard. Durand himself must be running
daft ; it is no wonder, in times like these, when mir-
acles or mysterious voices or witches are in every town.
It might be better for my children if more than one of
them lay under a cross in this consecrated earth."
Isabel stood with her hand over her eyes between
Jeanne's little window and the churchyard; and far
southwestward that same hour of the morning Jeanne
waited on the south bank of the Loire, looking across
at Orleans. The army of a few thousand men liad
marched from Tours in less than three days, crossing
the bridge at Blois, where gathered forces and provi-
sions were united. It was a religious procession, led
by chanting priests. Jeanne knew nothing of the
country, but her plan had been to enter Orleans by
the west gate, past the English fortifications. She
saw that the captains who directed the march, and who
knew the approaches to Orleans, had purposely
brought the army to the wrong side of the river.
THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'AEC 151
Making a detour to avoid posts near the bridge, which
the English occupied on the south side, they,, halted
opposite a channel betwixt two islands in the Loire.
She woidd have attacked the bridge, but the captains
would not. Besides, arches next the Orleans shore
had been broken down by the besieged themselves.
The city had drawn a wide belt of ruin around itself
outside the walls. Its faubourgs, or suburbs, which
would certainly have been used by the enemy, had
been torn down and burned by the people, who took
refuge within the gates. West of this desolate strip
some of the English works could be seen ; but on the
east side of Orleans, directly opposite the halting
army, was one large bastile threatening the convoy.
Trooping out against this came the citizens themselves.
Their desperate attack held it on the defensive for
hours, while boats carried the provisions, the promised
maid, and two hundred men across the river. It was
not so easy to transport the main body of the troops.
Concerted action under the leadership of one mind
was not yet possible to a fragmentary army with
many captains. They turned and marched back to
Blois, to cross the bridge there, and return to Orleans
on the right bank of the Loire.
" En nom De ! " said Jeanne to the Bastard of
Orleans, who ruled the city for his kinsman, long a
prisoner in England, as that young noble met her in
the boats ; " my coimsel are safer and wiser than the
counsel of men afraid to pass the English. I was
told to go in boldly, and I bring you the best succor
that ever knight, town, or city had— the help of the
King of heaven."
152 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AKC
" However you may enter, you are most welcome,"
he answered ; " the provisions would be nothing with-
out the maid"; and he brought her the colors of
OrMans to put on over her armor— a huque, or blouse,
of dark green, and above this a long-sleeved levite of
crimson Brussels cloth lined with white satin, em-
broidered with the livery of Orleans, the nettle.
At eight o'clock in the evening, the convoy being
safely received withia the walls, Jeanne entered the
Burgundy gate on the east side of the city. The Bas-
tard of Orleans rode at her left hand. He was young,
with a face not unlike his kinsman the dauphin, but
warlike and full of action. The English made no at-
tempt to cut off her entrance, a cautious policy of
saving themselves from sorties having controlled the
eight months' siege.
To Bertrand de Poulengy the pageant was like a
dream of trampling among clouds. Wan from hav-
ing slept in her armor in the fields, her bare head
showing sweet and maid-hke above the rich levite
which hung over the plates of her leg-armor and
covered her to the throat, Jeanne rode through seas of
people. All the bells of Orleans rang, and thousands
of faces wept and laughed for joy ; thousands of voices
shouted. The delivering maid, the mysterious, God-
sent maid, had come. Women and children pressed
close enough to touch her stirrup or her mailed fin-
gers. Her eyes and voice caressed them. "Be of
good cheer," she said ; " God hath sent you succor."
Trumpeters went before her, and her little pennon,
on which was displayed a dove ; for her banner had
been sent back in charge of Brother Pasquerel with
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC 153
the army to Blois. Torches streamed in the night
wind. La Hire and De Xantrailles rode behind her ;
her brother and her squires, her household and the
two hundred lances, followed. From far-off streets,
where crowds were hemmed in, came an impetus of
sound like the wind through the oak woods , and all
this mad enthusiasm rose at sight of a mere puceUe
in armor, who had yet done nothing to prove that she
was a deliverer, except make a religious march with
troops her name had helped to coUect. Bertrand could
see her profile as she turned from side to side. It
mothered her dear French, and said without speech,
" These are my children." The fact lifted him in his
saddle, that Jeanne had the kind of dominion which
is greater than royalty. She was king of men's minds,
and the accident of sex affected this power only by
adding to it the maternal instiact. He felt strangely
grown from his old provincial life, and joined to aU
his race, marching with the great of the world, as he
rode in the third rank behind her. But to have no
personal rights in her became infinitely more a loss.
In the cathedral of St. Croix, where the cavalcade, and
as many of the people as could crowd in, returned
thanks, Bertrand knelt with his face in his hands ; and
forever afterward the odor of incense was to him the
veritable breath of sacrifice.
Jeanne was taken across the city to lodge in the
treasurer's house near the west gate.
Late in the night Bertrand woke to the crash of
thunder. A wild storm raged over the town. The
treasurer of the Duke of Orleans had received aU of
Jeanne's retinue into his house, her superior followers
154 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC
being laid in one room along the width of a huge bed
extending fifteen feet beside the wall. Pierre slept
deeply, as did also the new squire; but Louis de
Coutes, her page, rose up after Bertrand, and stood
beside him looking out of a window. Jeanne was
lodged in a secluded room on a high ground floor
within the court, but this general guest-chamber over-
looked the street. Sidewalks almost too narrow for
the footing of one person, and tiny paving-stones,
showed their minutest lines in the passing glare ; and
faces carved on protruding timber-ends and oak cross-
pieces in the cemented house-fronts opposite smote
the watchers' eyes, leaving an effect of sudden bhnd-
ness. Bertrand could see the bold young features
beside him with vividness surpassing daylight, for
lightning surprises that which hides itself from the
" I cannot sleep," said Louis de Coutes ; " my con-
science troubles me."
"No wonder it broke your rest," responded the
squire ; " such a thing hath not happened before in
"Grod wot it hath not. Messire de Poulengy, I
have been insolent to you."
"And do you get up in the night to repent it?
Truly the puceUe hath reformed the troops. Have no
regard for my humors, Messire Louis. I have been
quarrelsome two years. There will always be people
who feel themselves badly used."
" But I did use you badly, for I wished myself to
be squire instead of page."
" We are never satisfied," said Bertrand, openly ; " I
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC 155
am one of the pucelle's squires, but I wish to be all
Prance to her."
The lightning flung out its blinding scroll, showing
Louis de Coutes's eyes full of tears. The stirring of
their fellows on the gigantic bed, and the crash of the
storm, drove them to speak nearer each other's faces.
Bertrand put his hand on the page's shoulder, but
Louis shook it off with a shrug. " Messire, pages do
not fight. I am of good family, and the King and La
Tremouille both favor me ; yet I am nothing but a
page. The pucelle looks on me as a boy. You can
fight, on the contrary, under her very eye."
" His conscience will yet drive him to prayer," re-
marked Bertrand, gently.
"I said pages could not fight," retorted Louis de
Coutes, laughing ; " but there is one page who intends
to fight with the pucelle or for her."
" You will not fight me. I never had a word of
love from her in my life. See Him draw His sword,"
said Bertrand, as thd lightning blazed wide through
Orl6ans, " who fills the mind of the pucelle."
But outside the city that vivid glory was considered
anything but the sword of God. In barracks built of
saplings and ' covered with thatch its search-light
passed over hundreds of blanched faces and fixed eyes.
The soldier, in aU ages a simple creature easily touched
in his superstitions, was in that year of grace 1429
the result of much religious hysteria. He would joy-
fully scale a wall with his ladder, and take boiling oil
or lead in the face ; but the apprehension of unseen
powers threw him at once into physical frenzy.
" That cursed witch," was whispered in the English
156 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC
camp from ear to ear, "hath stiiTed up this storm.
The French have brought hell to their aid."
When morning dawned clean and fair, they saw
this creature of their terrors, little more than a bow-
shot away, ride boldly out of Porte Renart, the west-
ern gate, with a rabble of citizens at her heels— those
very Orl^anais who had been afraid to show a head
from this part of the city, where the wall was JoiK^-
The English watched without drawing bow or training
bombard upon them. She rode entirely around
Orleans, as if to draw a line of invisible defense, with
a few mounted followers and the trudging common
people. Necks were craned over the English breast-
works, and starting eyes received the impression of
her vigorous young presence. She was Hke an ap-
parition mounted on a white horse, her armor shining
as mirrors reflect the sun. Her course being north-
ward, a crimson scabbard was displayed at her left
side ; and every man in every boulevard knew-it^n-
tained the awful sword of Fierbois, the sword of Mar-
tel, which once drove back the heathen, the sword which
had leaped out of a church wall for the new salvation
of France. " It is a sword of the devil," muttered the
English ; " she put it ia the church wall by magic."
And, having never seen a woman in mail, they tried
to discern her curious armor, with its swell of bust and
hip, and that inward tapering between, where her
girdle was clasped for the support of weapons. In-
stead of a vizored helmet she wore on her head a blue
hat turned up with gold lacings, and the soft woman
hair, cut short, flew about her ears, framing her face,
for she looked at the English.
THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'AKC 157
Orleans at that time was almost a parallelogram,
though, the northwest corner formed an acute angle,
and the west waU rounded into an outward curve.
There were five gates : two on the north, Bemiere and
Parisis ; one, Burgundy, or St. Aignan, on the east ;
St. Catherine at the entry of the bridge on the south ;
and, on the west side, Porte Renart.
Jeanne had never seen any fortifications except
those permanent defenses drawn around old cities.
The walls of Orl6ans were from seven to nine feet
thick, and from twenty-two to thirty feet high, set
with thirty-nine towers. No parapet guarded the top,
but a temporary barrier of wood had been carried
around. The towers were from two to three hundred
feet apart, except at the gates, which were flanked by
them. They were built three stories high, garnished
with dormer openings and machicolations, a kind of
jutting galleried top with open spaces below for shoot-
ing missiles or pouring down boiling lead on assail-
ants. The walls of Orleans were in good condition.
What Jeanne tried to comprehend with prehensile
reach and grasp of mind was the blockade the English
had drawn around them. And so swift were her
military impressions that she has been caUed a tacti-
cian of the first order.
The English had one bastile and four great boule-
vards extending from the faubourg opposite the north-
west gate to the Loire. In midstream, on a little
island, was another boulevard, and on the south shore
another. The TourneUes, a fort with a drawbridge,
guarded the south end of the bridge, and on the bank
fronting that was a boulevard which was itself pro-
158 THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'ARC
teeted by a bastile. One more bastile was planted
eastward on the south shore ; and on the north shore,
east of the city, built around the ruin of a church, was
that large bastile, called St. Loup, which the citizens
had held at bay when the maid entered Orleans.
This commanded the road to Jargeau, from which the
EngHsh drew many of their supplies, and was one of
their strongest forts. The five works on the west
side were connected by covered trenches. Jeanne
learned that a bastile was a fortress of wood or stone
with double ditches or moats, while boulevards were
earthworks consisting of single moats drawn around
an inclosure.^ Isolated, or placed before a gate or
around a bastile, the boulevards bristled over the crest
with a rufE of iron-tipped spikes called ehevaus-de-
frise. Both kinds of English fortifications were
rectangular, with a belt of moats at the four corners.
The principal English camp was west of the city.
When Jeanne had made the entire circuit outside
the walls, and returned to the Renart gate, she called
to the English, with her mailed hands around her
mouth : " Attend ! Here is news " ; and a bowman
beside her shot an arrow to which was bound a piece
of parchment. Her voice, reaching out in a prolonged
tone, f eU on the invaders' ears before the arrow stopped
short of their intrenchments. The parchment carried
her second letter to the English, bidding them leave
the country and avoid bloodshed. One had been
written for her in Poitiers, and she had despatched it
from Tours. A soldier in hose and tunic and long,
pointed footwear ran out and picked up the weighted
1 Barth^lemy de Beauregard.
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 159
arrow. He shouted insulting words at the maid, and
his mates howled in chorus. They would hoot the
devil to his face.
"Now God help them," said Jeanne, as she turned
in at the gate. " If they will not be gone, I will make
them such a ha-hu as wiU never be forgotten."
In these days of enormous populations the armies
that fought battles of far-reaching consequences in
the past seem incredibly smaU.^ Existing rolls of the
English soldiery prove that less than six thousand
men were camped around Orl6ans; and the army
gathered to Jeanne's standard, including the garrison,
amounted to about the same number. There were,
however, many pages, bow- and arrow-makers, and
laborers, as well as camp-followers and parasites,
which always infest troops, on both sides. And
Orleans lacked even this small army until four days
after the maid's entrance. The Bastard set out
secretly in the night, and went to Blois to hasten the
retujn of the troops by the north shore of the Loire.
He found aU the captains quarreling, and about to
disband. La Tremouille, the dauphin's favorite, had
come to Blois, and openly ridiculed a campaign under
a woman. The Bastard of Orleans, desperate with
the needs of his city, rallied the men, and led them
himself on the road.
1 " Abundanoe of preeious metals, the facilities of transpor-
tation, the accumulated works of generations, knowledge of
how to utilize the resources of nature, and increase of popu-
lations, have given to great states to-day an assemblage of
forces out of all proportion with former times."— "L'Arm^e
Anglaise vainou par Jeanne d'Arc," MM. De Molandon et Baron
160 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AKC
When they were distantly seen from the walls of
OrMans, and Jeanne rode out to meet them with five
hundred of the garrison mounted to attend her, the
strangest thing happened that has ever been recorded
against the courage of a great nation. It seems that
the English might have made a sortie, and taken her
as she passed betwixt their silent boulevards ; but not
a soldier stirred. As they saw her near at hand they
cowered below the earthworks— great-limbed Britons,
whose name has been a terror in the earth for a thou-
sand years, whose stubborn valor has passed into a
proverb of our time. Some of the maid's followers
eyed this silent and motionless panic with distrust;
but Bertrand de Poulengy remembered the dumb
terror that held numb and unable to move the men
who wanted to throw her into the river at Bar-sur-
The English commander Talbot had borne part in
many campaigns. He had pushed the line of fortifi-
cations around Orleans. No more sagacious soldier
had been sent across the Channel ; and the Duke of
Bedford, Regent of England and general of this inva-
sion of France, had then his headquarters not far
away at Chartres. Neither martial skill nor awe of
regal power moved the soldiers from their trenches.
A reinforcement was expected under Sir John Pastolf ;
but what could increase of numbers do for men who
felt themselves unable to move while the maid led her
troops into Orleans?
Artillery as it is now understood was then a power
unknown. Orleans had mounted upon its walls, or
on wheeled platforms which could be pushed outside
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC 161
the gates, seventy-one mouths of fire, all made of cop-
per, as a chronicler has told us, some of the cannon
being lent by a neighboring town. The English for-
tifications were armed with better artillery. Gun-
powder, though a factor of war since the battle of
Cr6cy, was not used at all as an explosive. This siege
was not made a subterranean war, yet the English
had miners with them, and large vases of water were
kept filled within the walls, and men watched for the
wrinkles which would betray any displacement of
earth underneath. The western part of the city, on
account of its low wall, was most exposed to bombard-
ment ; but nobody fled from it, and the pucelle had
been lodged there.
Knowledge of many things was crushed into
Jeanne's mind at once. These days were one colossal
dream, in which she grasped to herself, swift minute
after swift minute, the facts and utensils of war. She
had heard of ballistaB and catapults, ponderous ma-
chinery for throwing stones, great beams of which yet
cumbered the walls ; but gunpowder artillery delighted
her. There were bombards on wheels, and stationary
cannon, both loaded with balls of stone through the
mouth, and smaller culverins discharging buUets of
lead. Fusees and fire-lances were also projected to
set in a blaze the enemy's works. Some of the stone
cannon-balls weighed a hundred and fifty pounds.
The noise of this powder warfare was great, but it
had not the force to breach walls, though, like all the
fighting of the middle ages, it was destructive to hu-
In the warm May afternoon of the day the troops
162 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AKC
entered, Bertrand stood in the courtyard polishing
" They shall call it white as long as I am her squire,"
he said to Pierre, who sat on a bench watching him ;
" this new D'Aulon hopes to be knighted sooner than
I do. I will say this for Messire d'Aulon— he can
buckle the parts together with speed, and he wiU
make a fair knight, but never lead retinue like De
Metz of Novelopont."
"I wish we had more knights among us like De
Metz," said Pierre, letting his eyes move to the stables
on the opposite side of the court. Pierre was yet
armed, and Bertrand had removed only his gauntlets
to handle the steel plates. " A council has just been
held without my sister, and my lord the Bastard had
much trouble to pacify one knight, who was for giv-
ing up his standard and withdrawing. 'I will fight
with your maid,' saith he; 'but I will never fight
under her. What doth a peasant wench know of war?
Let her go home and milk her cows.' "
The little curtains of chain-mail which hung below
Jeanne's body-armor swept with a clank against the
bench as Bertrand shifted the leg on which he rested
it. His blue eyes spoke for him to Pierre.
HERE was silence in the town following
the morning's excitement. Gunners were
resting in the English camp, and no stone
burst over the tile roofs. The lull of that
booming made stillness quiver in the ears, and no-
body trod past the gates. White clouds moved lumi-
nous across the blue. The low sky of France, unswept
by wind, tempering its sunshine by a divinely bright
grayness, lay brooding growths over that whole coun-
try, from the great plain of the Beauce north of Or-
leans, the granary of France in good times, where
many horizons cannot contain the sheaves, to the long
waste of the Sologne southward. Both were then un-
plowed and unplanted, trampled by hoofs, and turn-
ing green only with the irrepressible moist verdure of
Jeanne lay asleep in a paneled room, which she
shared nightly with the treasurer's little daughter,
under a vaulted ceiling of blue-stone with many weird
white griffins cut on its arch. The sashes of three
round-topped windows were opened inward. No
sound came from the court, for Bertrand polished the
164 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC
armor with, a piece of soft leather, and the joints of
his own harness moved silently on rivets. When he
spoke again, his voice did not mount to the sloping
" Some of these knights complain that since Francis-
can monks began to roam about the country, teaching
people their doctrine, we have nothing but mysteries
and revelations. In God's name, how can they 01-
treat a pucelle who led them to-day past a cowed foe,
that they have been running from ever since you and
I were born ? " ,
Pierre shook his head, and so freed himself of
" I know nothing of these Southern humors. The
best thing I have seen in France is that good well of
St. Martin at Tours. I have been thirsting for it,"
said Pierre, lowering his narrowed eyes to the basking
ground, " ever since we came away."
The two young men were startled by a cry through,
the open sashes :
" My arms ! my arms ! Quick ! quick ! my arms !
The blood of Frenchmen is running on the ground ! "
Bertrand gathered up the pieces of armor, and ran
with Pierre through a long, narrow passage which led
to Jeanne's chamber. She was standing in the middle
of the floor, where she had leaped from the bed. Her
eyes had the rapt look left in them by her visions.
Her squire with swift iingers, and her brother with
clumsier efforts, buckled on breastplate and backpiece.
Thigh- and- front-plates were adjusted, leaving the back
of the leg free to press the horse ; the feet covered
with mailed shoes ; the armpieces and gauntlets made
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC 166
fast ; the helmet, the belt and sword. She flew to the
courtyard. No Louis de Coutes was in sight with
her horse. Pierre brought it, bitting its mouth and
strapping on the high-backed saddle while Bertrand
fastened the mailed hoiisings. They helped her mount
from the bench, and her squire flew back for her
standard. There was no time to bring it forth ; he
passed it to her through the window.
"Follow ! " she cried to them, as Pierre opened the
gate ; and both flung themselves on their horses. They
began to hear a tumult and shouts of disaster eastward.
They swerved behind her across one street, and flying
horse-hoofs struck fire from stones paving that billowy,
rising and falling, slightly bent thoroughfare to the
old Roman road called Rue Burgundy. Bloody-
headed citizens passed carrying wounded men. Ber-
trand shouted to Pierre through his teeth, as they rode
knee to knee :
" The fools went out to take the bastile of St. Loup
A third of a league and three minutes brought them
to the Burgundy gate, which was already open to let
in a rabble of retreating French. On these came—
archers and men-at-arms, captains, citizens, and cross-
bowmen, those mounted pressing in first, those on
foot flying wild-eyed. And after them, in full career,
were the pursuing English.
Jeanne rose in her stirrups with the lift of an eagle,
and raised her banner high above the panic-driven
mob. Now was heard a woman's voice, a leader's
voice, an angel's voice, bell-like, spreading its tones
wave upon wave, until they seemed to reach the hori-
166 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC
zon, to ripple over the Beauce, to die away in the
Sologne, to drive eastward far across the bastile of
" Amys ! Amys ! ayez bon courage ! Sus ! Sus !
lis sont tons nostres ! " ^
Like an arrow, the maid and the white banner shot
through the Burgundy gate at the EngUsh, and they
paused and wavered. The foremost pursuers shrank
down bodily, and moved backward, facing her. At
her sweet and terrible cry they turned, howHng in
English or Franco-Norman:
" The witch ! The witch ! To cover— the witch is
let loose ! "
The rallied French followed her. Those who had
fled farthest ran wUd with courage on her track. It
had been their custom so many years to scatter before
the English that the sight of English backs frenzied
them. All the knights roused in the city joined in
the pursuit ; the Bastard of Orleans, with his retinue,
came flying from the ducal house by St. Catherine's
gate; the young Due d'Alen^on, La Hire, De Xan-
trailles, De Metz, each with his men shouting to the
rescue, flew over the Roman road, crossed the double
moats, and scaled the works of St. Loup.
They drove, they slew, they swept the enemy. The
maid was in the church around which the bastile was
built, pulling refugees from the belfry, sending back
prisoners. Everywhere St. Catherine's sword was seen
as lightning. Shouts rang beyond OrMans and the
English camp. _ Before the camp, roused by ^trumpets,
could hurry reinforcements around the walls, St. Loup
1 Her actual loattle-ory.
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 167
was taken, sacked, riddled, destroyed. The eastern
stronghold of the English was gone.
When it was finished, the sweating soldiers, flushed
and roaring with success, abated the noise of their
joy over France's fli-st victory in years, for the puceUe
was down on her knees protecting a dying English-
" Let him alone ! " she cried, striking a lance from
his breast. " Do not hurt him any more ! Why will
they not go back to their homes? I cannot bear to
see them die ! "
This was the witch— this tender face, like the face
of some dear maid at home, dropping tears under a
lifted vizor. Her enemy died with this image upon
But in the city aU the bells rang, and people ran
laughing through the streets. Now had their maid
given proof that she was sent. St. Loup was taken,
and the English were cut off from Jargeau. The sol-
diers would have lain upon the pavement and let her
ride over their bodies. They were for going out to
attack the Tourelles next morning, but became reli-
gious as soon as it was known that the maid desired to
keep that day holy, it being Ascension day. " She is
forever taking the bon Dieu," ^ they said to one an-
other ; " her common food is nothing but bread and
Both besieged and besiegers knew the most impor-
tant English fortress was that called the Tourelles, on
the end of the bridge. The English, by spreading
their forces from boulevard to boulevard over a space
168 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC
of nearly two leagues, diminislied their strength ; but
the fort on the bridge was well manned.
The bridge, a stone structure of the twelfth century,
had nineteen arches, and from the city gate of St.
Catherine to the south shore was more than a thousand
feet long. Beyond the fifth arch it rested on and
crossed a narrow island, where a chapel, a hospital,
and a few houses remained. Here some houses were
buUt also upon the bridge, and they had been con-
verted into a small bastUe. Above the twelfth arch
was a venerable cross, and at the end of the bridge
was the strong fort of the ToureUes, separated from
the Sologne side by a drawbridge, and guarded on
land by both a bastile and a boulevard. The French
fortified these towers for their own safety. The Eng-
lish had assaulted and carried the place in October.
That same day their commander, Salisbury, was killed
in it by a stone cannon-ball. The retreating French
broke down those arches giving entrance to St. Cath-
erine's gate, and their enemies barricaded the broken
end. To retake the ToureUes would not only clear the
blockade half-way around Orleans : it would cut the
English off from the object of their siege, which was
invasion south of the Loire.
" I shall be wounded to-day betwixt my neck and
my breast," said Jeanne, as her squire armed her the
second morning after Ascension day. Bertrand's lips
whitened and stiffened.
" How do you know that ? "
" The counsel have told me."
She seldom noticed him when he was girding her
buckles, but this time she put her hands affectionately
on his shoulders. As he stood level with her own eyes
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC 169
he trembled with unsteadiness, which the maid could
not understand, and he breathed with the rise and fall
of her own breast in its steel cuirass.
"Bertrand, I am growing to love you almost as
well as I do Pierrelo," she said, with large and open
natural affection. " You have been a man since you
came into Prance. You have seen I was born for this
labor. And what if blood must go out of me this
day ? I have told the dauphin I cannot last above a
year or two, and he had best make use of me. Have
you ever thought it a good to die ? "
"Yes, I have so thought it," he answered, facing
her steadily, his eyes swimming in rapture stolen from
her touch. Jeanne had not a woman's sense of this
great passion. She would as freely and honestly have
laid her hands on the knight of Novelopont, who had
just received back from the dauphin the moneys he
had expended on her journey into Prance, or the Due
d'Alen^on, whom she had promised to keep safe for
his young wife. She was a comrade to every man
whose strength went with hers against the invader.
. " I will teU you," said Jeanne, in a whisper ; " since
these voices have come to me, there is such anguish of
homesickness to be gone with them when they leave
me that my spirit leaps at thought of death. Oh,
think of being through— well through— with what we
are obliged to undertake ! Yet I am so alive," laughed
the maid. " I enjoy my body ; I love my family, and
my home, and this world ; but more than anything
else under the sky I love sacred Prance. Bertrand, if
you could hear my heart beat, the sound would be
nothing but 'Prance — Prance— Prance— Prance ! '
" The battle this day will go hard with us," said
170 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AKC
Jeanne, removing her hands from her sqnire, and
letting him put on her helmet. She pushed up the
grotesque pointed vizor, and her voice, coming from
the case of steel, was weirdly prophetic.
" It will not be until my standard touches the steep
side of the boulevard that we can go in. I do not
know when the moment wiU be, but I shall be told.
Bertrand, I want you to bear my standard in the as-
sault of the ToureUes ; but do not press into the f oss
and let the banner float against the works until I tell
you; it will do no good until the English are given
into our hands."
Early as it was, the bombarding had begun, though
gunpowder was used in such insufficient quantities,
and the cannon around Orleans were trained at such
angles, that projectiles tumbled perpendicularly from
the height to which they were thrown over the city.
OrMans answered with the mouths of its pieces through
embrasures in the walls. Like other towns, Orleans
could make its own gunpowder, mixing the parts,
however, so that minimum force was generated in the
burning. But there were no firearms to be carried
by the marching soldiers. Archers and arbaletriers
formed the most considerable portion of any body of
troops. The rule throughout Christendom was to
support any number of men-at-arms with three times
as many archers.
Cavalry, as the word is now understood, did not
exist. Men-at-arms and archers both went mounted
or afoot, as their undertakings required, and in action
they were necessarily separated and independent of
each other. Soldiers who hewed with guisarmes and
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC 171
pole-axes, or drove witli lances, hammers, and swords,
could not be embarrassed by archers, over whose
pickets and bodies they must ride or run from behind,
and whose bolts they must risk after passing if both
advanced together, for battle was then a mighty clus-
ter of hand-to-hand duels. Knights, nobles, princes,
and even kings, threw themselves at the head of their
followers into these combats. No man stood in his
place to be shot at ; but he picked him out a lusty
opponent, and if he had the good fortune, progressed
foot by foot over fallen bodies into the enemy's
At dawn that seventh day of May nearly every sol-
dier in Orleans, obeying the maid, had gone shriven
to mass. No lewd women had been allowed to join
the march from Tours or Blois. The barracks were
indeed like monks' cells, and every profane word was
punished by disciphne, at her orders, and herein the
captains regarded their sovereign's command to sub-
mit themselves to her direction better than in matters
One commander neglected the duty of confession,
remembering it only as he galloped past the misty
cathedral front with his retinue. He struck his mailed
hip and swore, and Poton de XantraUles, riding near
him, laughed aloud.
" Hug thy holy bones and chuckle, Poton," retorted
La Hire. "A man that hath nothing but a clean
conscience inside his armor, and gives his mind to
handling a shield as thou dost, is safe anywhere."
There was a glut of men at the Burgundy gate.
Horses could scarcely move in the crowd. Jeanne's
172 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC
standard showed near the portal, and behind it, over
the Bastard, was displayed the great red banner of
Orleans, covered with needlework. The governor of
the city, having received conflicting orders from that
council held the day the troops entered, refused to
open the Burgundy gate. He had been told that the
attack on the English camp was to be made through
Porte Renart, and he was not the man to give way,
even though both pueelle and Bastard commanded
" Break his head with his keys, and throw him over
the wall ! " shouted La Hire, who, sputtering with the
effort to keep back words unfit for the pucelle's ears,
swore with tremendous zeal by the baton."
Orleans was surrounded by a f oss which, under the
gates, expanded to deep paved courts. As the Porte
Burgundy was forced from within, the drawbridge fell
with a clang, and the crowd burst out, gentler riders
and less aggressive foot-soldiers being thrown back-
ward by the recoil. Each captain sought to put in
order again his retinue of twenty-five or thirty lances
and seventy-five archers. Jeanne's confessor, who
always rode with her as both priest and surgeon, was
pushed on his palfrey, which replaced the jaded
Domremy beast, across the front of La Hire's great
"Behold the reward of swearing by the baton,"
shouted De XantraUles over the general discomfort.
" La Hire hath not confessed himself, but he is per-
mitted to go out with the broad side of a friar for a
"La Hire will confess himself now," retorted
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 173
Jeanne's convert. "Turn thee, Brother Pasquerel,
for when we pass yon portal, adieu, religion. La
Hire hath committed the usual sins of a man-at-arms,
as well as he could behind the pucelle's back, who
gives a man no chance even to wash his mouth with
a good sweet oath, and he begs for absolution."
The friar, reioing alongside that squat, broad suit
of armor, murmured at the casque which was inclined
toward him. Whether he spoke forgiveness or re-
proof to the sinner,'La Hire accepted it with a hearty
" Ajnen." He set spurs to his horse and shot through
"Now, God," said he aloud and free-hearted, "be
pleased to do for La Hire this day what La Hire would
do for thee if he were God and thou wert La Hire."
There was no longer a bastile of St. Loup to pre-
vent the easy transportation of troops across the river.
Boats landed the army on the south shore, where they
had first halted. The English camp on the west side
took no part in the action of this day, except continu-
ing to bombard the city.
The little bastile called St. Jean le Blanc had been
taken by the French in a sortie on the day after As-
cension, its garrison retreating to the bridge boulevard.
This was the first time that Jeanne had seen chausse-
trappes— small pieces of iron which, falling in any
position, turned a foot-piercing point uppermost.
The English threw chausse-trappes behind themselves,
and every lance, English or French, had them as part
of his equipment.
The French archers advanced within shot of the
Tourelles, each carrying with him a tough, sharp picket
174 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AKC
to drive into the ground if such bristling defense
should be needed against horses. With arrows laid
in a row under his feet ready to the grasp, he sent
his feathered shots into the bodies of the enemy.
A horizontal snow-storm thus swept the Tourelles.
Long practice was required to make an expert archer,
while lances had only to drive and dare, to hew with
guisarme or strike with hammer, protecting them-
selves with their pavas, or shields. Crossbowmen
also, setting their weapons point downward on the
ground, and holding them with foot in stirrup and
bow across their knees, while they whirled double
handles to adjust arrows in grooves, shot bolts by a
trigger which exceeded the strength of the human hand
on a bowstring. The range of crossbowmen was much
greater than the range attained by archers, though
the English were said to excel them with good single
yew bows and yard-long shafts.
Five hundred men fought in the Tourelles, and they
were made a host by WiUiam Griadsdal, a mere squire,
who, though far below other captains in social rank,
had merited and received entire command of the south
shore. He drew his force into the outwork or bastile
on the bank, which was unusually steep from the
bottom of the moat to the top of the earthen crest.
Boiling oU, molten lead, stones, arrows, lances, axes,
maces, or clubs fought down the ascending French.
Carrying St. Loup by assault was a light feat of arms
compared with driving a man like Griadsdal from his
position. His men shouted insulting words at the
witch of the Armagnacs. The noise of attack and
repulse was terrific. Huge pincers dragged timbers
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 175
from tlie bastile. The Frencli, stooping forward with
their shields slung over their backs for defense, ran
up scaling-ladders to seize their [enemies at the top ;
and again and again were the ladders flung down,
with stones, molten lead, and boiling oil on the heads of
the climbers. Shouts,— "England and St. George! "
"Prance and St. Denis!" "Remember Agincourt!"
—the cries of captains, the clang of axes on armor,
the crack of oak when spHt, the twang of bowstrings,
and the steady singing of arrows— all this confusion
of battle was heard by Jeanne with swooning ears.
From the first ladder planted she had fallen, with an
arrow piercing that joint of her armor where the
shoulder moved on the neckpiece.
A knight lifted her out of the ditch. She felt the
jarring as he dragged her back from the press.
" You are hurt, pucelle ; here, take my horse."
" Who are you, messire ? "
He threw up his vizor and showed his face. "De
Gramaches, who flouted you in council. But I was
mistaken in you, pucelle. Bear me no malice, and
take my horse."
" I bear no one malice, Messire de Gamaches, and I
will gladly take your horse."
Bertrand's arm steadied her in the saddle. She saw
her banner half furled in his hand. She swooned in
a vineyard beyond the ruined faubourg, the bolt of
anguish^ still piercing her. Brother Pasquerel, and
Pierre, and many more drew around her, hesitating
to pull it out, though they took her armor off and
bathed her face. The point stuck out behind her the
length of her finger. She herself sat up and laughed.
176 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC
to take the anguish from their faces, and jerked it out,
drenching her breast with blood. Pierre held her stead-
ily, but Bertrand doubled forward on his knees and hid
his eyes from that blood and from the sacred baring of
her shoulder, which the friar oUed and bound up.
She prayed voieelessly, lying on the earth among
the vines ; and when the fli-st f aintness was past she
rose to her knees.
The attack on the ToureUes had not begun until
ten o'clock, all the troops being first conveyed across
the river. It was afternoon when Jeanne noticed the
decreasing noise of battle. Discouraged assailants, led
vainly by the Bastard, D'Alen^on, La Hire, and De
XantraiUes, were drawing back from the ToureUes out
of bow-shot, and in spite of their captains making for
" En nom De ! " besought the maid, " run— bear word
to the Bastard ! Tell him to let them eat and drink
and rest. The men are faint. When their strength
comes again we will go in, for the place is ours."
Noise of cannonading continued on the north shore,
and smoke spread there like a stratum of tinted mist.
The cannon in the ToureUes and the boulevard, wliich
had done little execution in a hand-to-hand struggle,
now threw stones into the fields across the ruined
faubourg. Perhaps the French, while they ate and
drank such food as had been brought from the town,
with missiles like small globes dropping about them,
remembered, and cursed their leaders in remembering,
that it was not the puceUe's counsel to attempt these
works. She had wished first to attack the BngUsh
camp, but, with good sense as strong as genius, made
herself subservient to the captains.
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC 177
All tlie western plain and river turned rosy as the
snn slipped low. There was an old path winding into
the trampled vineyard, and it became pink under the
pink sky. The two towers of the Tourelles, one roimd,
the other many-angled, swam aloft in a sea of yellow-
ing Ught. That embankment by the river, where an
unprotected battery had been taken the day before,
betwixt St. Jean le Blanc and the bridge, stood up
clean-cut in the magnifying air.
Gladsdal's garrison, serving their guns, and less
troubled by the scattered French than by marksmen
on the city waUs, saw with astonishment that their
assailants were again massing. More than that, they
saw the white armor of the witch who had been killed
rise up in the weird horizontal sunset light.
" There are white birds fluttering about her head ! "
some of them gasped to others ; " do you see the white
"She was carried off with an arrow through her
body, and here she comes at mad gallop ! "
The maid dashed breakneck into the ditch, her ban-
ner carried by a squire racing beside her. It touched,
it swept the earthen wall. Again that sweet bell-voice,
which carried the soul of France to certain victory,
rolled over the doomed Tourelles :
" Ayez bon courage ! Es sont tons nostres ! "
Men-at-arms flung their shields over their l^backs,
and plunged from ladder-tops into the bastUe— arch-
ers, knights, captains, nobles.
They carried it ; they forced the boulevard behind
it. The English ran to the drawbridge to retreat into
the Tourelles. At the Orleans end of the bridge the
pucelle's voice was answered by rejoicing cries. St.
178 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC
Catherine's gate flew open, the garrison and citizens
of Orleans running with timbers to cover the broken
arches and assault Grladsdal on their side. Old Jehan
of Lorraine, the master cannoneer, who had once fallen
into English hands and lost his piece when it was
trundled on its movable table outside the gates, danced
in rapture on the waU ; for the ball that he sent from
his battery, as the boulevard was carried, cut away
the ToureUes drawbridge under the BngUsh, and
Gladsdal and his men were dashed into the river. On
went the shouting French, casting across the gap
planks torn from outworks. The ToureUes, the pris-
oners therein, the bridge, the battle, were theirs, and
they marched with the maid through St. Catherine's
gate into Orleans.
" She drives the English, and then she weeps over
them as they die," exulted the soldiers. It had been
indeed a great waste of hf e. " More prisoners should
have been taken and held to ransom," declared La
Hire ; " men who receive but eight deniers a day for
military service need all the Englishmen they can
This often-described battle, which turned the tide
of invasion and changed the history of the world, was
ended ; for next morning the English raised the siege,
and setting fire to their line of remaining works, drew
away. A blockade which had lasted eight months,
and worn out all the military resources of the king-
dom, was broken by the maid in three days. Te Deum
was chanted in the cathedral, and people ran shouting
in the streets all night long, for the bells rang with-
out ceasing in Orleans.
j]N a warm afternoon late in Jnly, when the
sun was getting low behind the Domremy
hiUs, Mengette watched skylarks rise from
the ground. She had two flocks of geese
on the uplands, her own and Isabel Rom6e's, and kept
them apart, nipping grass, and from wandering into
the young vines below, for all the vineyards were
weighted with green grapes bunched near the earth.
The vines were like bushes tied to stakes with wisps
of straw. Wide, open fields spread along the ridge
to an oak jungle southward. Once, when the young
maids were racing on this ridge, Jehannette had seemed
to blow like a leaf, outstripping them all, and they
looked at her as at one who had died and come to life
again. Mengette remembered that this had caused
her to feel her first pang of separateness from her play-
mate. And now Jehannette, parted from Domremy
but six months, was at Rheims making the dauphin
to be crowned !
Jean' Morel and Gerardin d'Epinal had brought the
news from ChSlons, where they saw her and the march-
ing army. The siege of Orleans was raised, and the
180 THE DATS OF JEANNE D'ARC
English had been driven from Jargeau, from Meung
and Beangeney, and had been beaten in the battle of
Patay. Where these places were Mengette did not
know, but she had the words by heart. Jargeau,
Meung, Beaugency, and Patay all taken in ten days !
Jean Morel and Gerardin d'fipinal said that Jehan-
nette was leading a host which increased every hour ;
for whoever had a horse clapped saddle on it and joined
the cavalcade, bearing his own expenses. Troyes had
opened its gates and surrendered to the dauphin and
the maid— Troyes, where the treaty disinheriting him
had been made by his mother and the English ! Town
after town delivered up its keys and returned to its
natural allegiance. The pueeUe, without a battle, was
sweeping all the North into her sovereign's hands !
" ' The pucelle ' is the name they give her," said
Gerardin, proud that Jehannette had held his child at
the baptismal font ; " and she goes like a great gen-
eral, in cloth of gold, on magnificent horses, changing
them so that they are never jaded. The soldiers have
an awe of her as of something divine. In the field
she sleeps in her armor, and the life of her body is
hidden from them ; yet she flung herself off her horse,
and shook Jean and me both by our hands, as soon as
she saw us. They say the dauphin would have kissed
her when she came to him after raising the siege of
OrMans, but not even he hath the effrontery to handle
her. And how high is the look of her coimtenance !
She laughs like little Jehannette yet, but I would as
lief have St. Margaret's or St. Catherine's eyes on me
as hers. She wears burnished mail so white that it
shines dazzling, and has squires and servants to wait
THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'AEC 181
on her. We saw Pierre and Bertrand de Poulengy,
and for confessor she hath the friar who set forth to
the wars with Pierre. And everybody in Chalons
looked once at the Dauphin Charles and his retinue
of nobles, and all the time thereafter at the pucelle."
Jacques and Isabel had gone to Rheims, to see the
dauphin crowned and to bring home their children.
They had been absent more than a week. The cure
and Jacquemine and Durand Laxart went with them,
but Mengette felt quietly sure they would not return
with Jehannette in their company; and if not with
Jehannette, neither with Pierre. She endui-ed vicari-
ous pangs for her dear playmate uprooted from home,
though how much worse it would be for Jehannette
to come home and find Domremy so changed !
The cure and Jacques being both without horses,
Durand Laxart took the priest in his cart, while
Jacques had been obliged to borrow the Widow
Davide's beast, which was grudgingly lent, though
she would receive for the loan a measiu-e of wine at
the vintage. The journey from Domremy to Rheims
was over sunny country, where the mud of spring was
long dried up. But Jacques d'Arc was going to see
a glorified daughter, and the Widow Davide did not
know where her Haumette was. Human bitterness
grew in the woman at such raising up and puUing
down. Mengette knew the Widow Davide's tongue
began to work the very day Jean Morel and Gerardin
d'fipinal brought their wonderful story. She was
cross in her wine-shop when Domremy rang its church
bell, and crosser when Greux, though Burgundian in
its preferences, rang also for the maid of Lorraine.
182 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC
A rider spurred up the long ascent to Bury-la-C6te ;
and there Durand Laxart danced wildly in the street,
and Bury-la-C6te rang its bell also. Thus from town
to town up the Meuse vaUey sped news of the maid ;
and from Domremy to Vaucouleurs, where the people
made a public procession of thanks, the bells, through
which she heard her voices best,— the bells which were
like her own pealing cry,— rang her victories.
As soon as the priest, excused from his oflSces, and
Jacques and Isabel were on the road to Rheims, jeal-
ousy of the D'Arc family spread over Domremy Uke
fog from the river. Its sinuous twistings were in
every house, and Mengette saw the women turn their
heads when she went toward Greux with her geese,
instead of giving her a " good day." The puceUe's
closed, shed-shaped home seemed to rouse antagonism.
Mengette saw her neighbors pointing at it and laugh-
ing. They had once talked about Jehannette's visions,
and aU knew her long waiting and sorrow. Did it
amuse them that she had burst from her years of
preparation into swift, miraculous action, gaining for
the French five great battles in two weeks, and lead-
ing the dauphin in victorious progress through a hos-
tile country to his coronation f Mengette had no envy,
and did not understand that the puceUe's sudden rise
before all Christendom might affect her neighbors like
their own downfall.
The wine-shop door was shut in Choux's face, his
cronies sitting with the cool garden under their eyes
at the back of the house. Unused to being banished
from the wine-shop without having his ear pinched,
Choux waited in the street, hunched on the stone coping
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC 183
wMcli surrounded the manure-heap ; and the Widow
Davide came out, and denounced him openly as a
sorcerer with a voice from the devil, a consorter with
people who did things by witchcraft. His own foul-
ness made more wholesome by the stable odor in which
he sat, he thrust his face at her, and called boldly on
Valentin to torment her at night, which sent the
"Widow Davide clattering into the church for holy
water and a cautious prayer or two against the evil
Choux's face projected more and more like a beast's
in front of his ears. Mengette's abhorrence of him in
ebb and flow tossed her clean virgin spirit, but she
held on to duty, and made regular confession of it.
Father Fronte laid no penance on her, even when she
owned to wondering i£ Choux would never die ; for
when his hissing grew unendurable, the old order of
things lost their charm, and she reached the state of
constantly desiring to have him under ground, tied in
his last clean cap and deaf to voices. After Isabel's
reproof he and Valentin had shrieked no more aloud,
but they took to whispering; and Mengette's skin
prickled all over when she heard them filling darkness
with fierce sibilations, like a pair of colossal ganders.
She knew there was a Valentin, though Isabel had
scarcely believed in his existence and soon forgot him.
Nightly, month after month, his invisible company op-
pressed the house and gave it an uncanny name. The
priest privately exorcised him, and punished Choux
by withdrawing the church's consolations for a time ;
but that old sinner no longer cared for the bon Dieu.
Father Fronte began to regard him as a poor idiot.
184 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC
the sport of fiends, more to be pitied and endured than
Jacquemine now had much of Pierre's work to do,
and sulked continually, being far from strong; and
when Mengette gladly helped him, he could talk of
nothing but his troubles. Yet, in spite of these things,
Mengette never came on a day when she did not live
with zest. The July afternoon put Domremy out of
her head. Creamy air, smooth and soft upon the
cheeks, strewed wisps of gray or opal color against
green hills. The Meuse was nearly hid in bushes. She
could see Jean Morel and Grerardin d'fipinal at work in
their vineyards below the oak woods. These travelers,
who had gone as far as fifteen leagues to Chalons,
were behind in tying up the vines ; but they worked
with the stii- of the world in their blood. They knew
the vintage was going to be good, and declared the
last Burgundian riders had trampled the march of
Lorraine. As for that wicked Queen Isabel, she now
sat in Paris quaking from morning till night, though
the sun was there so hot that dunghills reeked ; and
what would she do when her crowned son turned from
Rheims to march with the pucelle on Paris ?
A skylark rose from a wide level between the flocks
of geese, wheeling and singing, sweet and lilting, until
he was out of sight, though his voice seemed as near
as ever. Mengette stood with her face turned upward,
searching for his dot of body against dazzling light ;
motes swam before her eyes in the upper air; then the
lark appeared, wheeling downward. His rejoicing did
riot cease an instant. When higher than a hundred
feet, he dropped like a stone, head downward, de-
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AKC 185
scribed one more circle, and alighted in the grass. All
the time his singing was so joyful that it made Men-
gette laugh. He did not mind her near approach, but
was up again, for pure gladness, and out of sight
agaia, his voice bubbUng in every direction over the
sky ; then down he wheeled and dropped, circled once
more, and hid himself in the grass. So he kept it up
until the sun was almost gone. Mengette's neck ached
with supporting her back-tilted head while he was
aloft, and her lips were stretched with the laughter
of delight. She loved him, and had loved his fathers
before him all her summers. Her dazzled eyes could
hardly see the stony land mottled with specks of
Therefore when an outcry broke from Domremy
street, in front of the church, she looked down the
long hill shoidder, bhnd to its cause. Her own house
and the garden behind it, crowded with growing things,
were a blur till her eyes were fitted to the lower light.
The black wheat, or buckwheat, which made her winter
bread, was all in flower, a gray smear within the wall.
Mengette could hear Choux screaming her name,
and her first startled thought was that the devil might
be carrying him off. She felt her whole body blanch
with fright. Then she began to see people running,
and a man and a woman dragging Choux by the
shoulders, his hump and heels scraping the ground.
Domremy had risen against sorcery.
It was a sin, but Mengette's next thought was fear
that the two flocks of geese might mix or stray or
damage vines if she left them, so strong is the hold
of small cares on poverty. But compassion, unready
186 THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'AEC
in her brain, was swifter ia lier muscles. Directly
another flying figure added itself to the village mob.
Mengette, breathless, dragged at Choux to liberate him
from the mob's hands. Her neighbors, who knelt in
church with her, were like wUd beasts.
" Let go this sorcerer ! " screamed Widow Davide ;
" we have had enough of voices and visions and witch-
craft. Let them believe who will that Jehannette
d'Arc doth her great miracles of siege-raising by the
help of the saints. "We know this old beast hath long
communicated with devils. He ought to be burned ;
but fagots are too good to waste on him— we will
drown him in the Meuse.''
Mengette put herself in front of Choux, who shrilled
like a chicken with something in its neck. This spas-
modic shriek, and his odor, and his prehensile, suck-
ing grip, from which there was no escape, made her
turn faint. With the ferocious self-preservation of
age, he held her before him ; and she felt his thumbs,
which curved sharply backward with a claw at the end,
sink their joints into her hips. His thick, bestial lower
lip blubbered first at one side of her waist and then
at the other, as he watched his antagonists. Mengette
" You have never been well liked yourself for har-
boring the old wretch," warned the Widow Davide's
nephew, who had helped drag Choux.
" It matters not," answered Mengette.
" People despise you," declared the Widow Davide,
hands on hips, and nose thrust into the maid's ghastly
" It matters not," answered Mengette.
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ABC 187
" Let US have Mm, or we will throw you into the
river with him."
" It matters not," answered Mengette, her tongue
bound to one phrase; for she could not argue with
them, or threaten them with the cur6, or think of any
good thing which might turn their minds. And there
was old Simone of Greux, who could barely totter
on two canes, licking his sunken mouth with fierce
desire to slay, and shrilling, "Put them both in the
Meuse ! "
And there were the children who loved to stroke
Mengette's milk-white gander, staring at her as at a
cursed thing. She had early learned what is so hard
for the young to learn, that many things must be en-
dured alone. But there is no loneliness like isolation
as the protector of an abhorrent object. Some of the
excited villagers drew back, touched to their souls by
her hunted eyes. The rest, provoked by resistance, with
frenzied clamor dragged both Mengette and Choux
to the deep washing-pool.
Choux's throat closed to sound, and his face ex-
tended long and horse-like in front of his ears. Men-
gette could see it, though his hold on her back was
not broken, as she struggled against the hands of her
executioners until her petticoat and bodice were torn
to shreds. Her lithe body twisting and her arms beat-
ing in the midst of a crowd were seen by Jean Morel
and Gerardin d'fipinal in their vineyards. They ran
shouting at the top of their voices.
Men who had been farther than Chylous might not
have prevailed at that time to stop unjust violence,
but two dreadful things helped them— the sight of a
188 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC
maid's naked, scratched arms and breast and dropping
petticoat, and news from Greux that the priest had
already passed Bermont chapel on the Bury-la-C6te
road which led from Rheims.
The crowd fell apart. Every woman was ready to
cover poor Mengette and take her home. They began
to blame one another, and those who had only stood
and looked on went into their houses with a virtuous
air, determined that the priest should know they had
nothing to do with it. Choux and sorcery were for-
gotten. They all wished to be standing by their doors,
or driving in the cows, or to be bringing great inno-
cent panniers of lucerne on their backs, or gathering
home the children and the geese, when they welcomed
the priest as he returned along Domremy street.
But before the angelus rang, nearly every soul,
warned out by Father Fronte's command, gathered in
the church. Choux was not there. He crouched in
his chamber ; and Valentiu was not heard to whisper
all that night. Mengette was not there. She lay in
her cupboard bed, and though it was July, the serge-
covered down sack lay over her feet, for twilight
brought inlihe coolness of the hiUs. Isabel Rom6e sat
beside her, too exalted to feel that bitterness against
her neighbors for their behavior which she must have
felt if she had not been to Rheims.
But Jacques and Jacquemine were in the dark
church, where almost invisible sinners cowered on the
prayer-benches. The terrors of that religion whose
rights of trial and punishment they had iisurped hung
over a pastoral people unused to pubhc ferment. The
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC 189
Widow Davide knelt on the stone floor ; she was often
mourning her daughter there, and sank lower and
lower in a contrite heap.
Two candles only lighted the altar. The cure came
out of the sacristy, and taking one of them, ascended
a pulpit near the center of the church, and set it on
the reading-desk before him. "White groins and arches
were half discernible overhead. In one transept was
an image of St. Catherine, and there Jehannette d'Arc
used to pray. The priest led his people through a
short benediction service, and then he said:
" I have heard aU that you attempted to do this day
to Choux, who is a sinner, and to Mengette, who would
have perished a martyr. And why were you moved
to it ? I know your hearts, full of jealousy and envy.
You were not mad against sorcery: you were mad
against royal favor that hath not been shown to you.
None of you have complained of any damage done to
you by Choux ; but when my back is turned you rise
up to put him to death, and shamefully misuse an in-
nocent maid, because of your spite and malice."
The church was very still. Jacquemine, in his place,
felt fierce to punish these peasants who had not been
" I have been to Eheims," said Father Fronte. " I
have seen our dauphin crowned a king; I have seen
the pucelle, who grew up among us with holy visions
in this valley, where some of you run to violence, stand
before her sovereign to be questioned what she desired
for aU her services. She asked but one thing : ' Take
the tax forever off Domremy and Greux.' The king
190 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AKC
takes the burden of tax off Domremy and Greux.
Your priest and Jacques d'Axc bring you the news.
I have no more to say. Go home."
The congregation did not stir. Father Fronte also
stood still in the little circle of candle-light. He could
hear their labored breath. They aU, like one great
sorrowful child, burst into weeping, and wept aloud.
SABEL could hear that contrite noise in
the church through Mengette's open door
and windows. Both women understood
it, but they continued their talk about
Rheims. Isabel had brought home all the geese from
the uplands, and given evening bread and drink to
this prostrate family as weU as her own. The hill
twilight of home filled her heart to the brim. Men-
gette's slight outline was stretched in exhaustion
under the down sack, which she drew to her armpits
as the air grew cooler, her face shining white above it.
The pot-hanger dangling from the back of her fireless
chimney was lost in the dark, and both door and win-
dows framed nothingness. She forgot her trouble in
the splendor of a realized vision, which Isabel could
not keep from painting on the Domremy night.
"So all hath been fulfilled. While we spun or
sewed or worked in the vineyards, the months have
changed Jehannette like many years. At first I did
not know her in her armor. We aU stood to see the
king and his troops enter Eheims on Saturday even-
ing, for he received his worthy anointing on Sunday ;
192 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC
and there was my eliild riding at his side with a white
banner, so glorious a creature, the people so adoring
her with cries and weeping, that I hid my face against
a wall, and shook with a kind of palsy, and saw not
her brother ; he rode behind her. But when she came
flying to the inn where we slept,— for she was lodged
with the king's company at the archbishop's chateau,
—and with her head bare cast herself into our arms,
Jacques fainted down upon the floor. She kissed him
and tended him. I could see she was our same Jehan-
nette. She inquired for you, and named everybody in
Domremy. Her heart was set on coming home with
us, since her task was fulfilled at Rheims; but the
king and all the army held to her with pleadings, and
reproached her for desiring to turn back while the
English are still in Prance."
" And Pierrelo, also— he was well ? " put in Mengette.
" Well and ruddy, and all a soldier. Pierrelo hath
become wasteful, living among nobles; but he paid
into Jacques's hand the money which our horse brought
in Tours, and more besides, from spoils and ransoms
of the English. Jehannette will not take either spoils
or ransoms, or money from the king, except to pay
her household. The king would have given honors
to both Jacques and Durand Laxart ; but they would
have nothing, so he made our Jacquemine baiUff of
Vaucouleurs. Messire de Baudricourt hath joined the
army with his retinue, and he and Durand were made
to teU over and again the story of her setting out for
France. Durand Laxart boasted a thousand times,
' And I carried her to Vaucouleurs ! ' wandering around
the fair streets, beside himself and laughing aloud.
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 193
Jehannette gave him her old bodice and petticoat that
she hath carried with her on all her journeys, having
no longer hope of wearing them again. And he sat
with the things across his knees, and looked at her in
her mail, the tears running down his face, the king
himself having said that no man had done more for
Prance than Durand Laxart.
" The king hath a pleasing, fair presence, and he is
but four years older than Jacquemine. He kept his
vigil in the cathedral all Saturday night, as the custom
hath ever been on a sovereign's last night before cor-
onation ; and outside in the great square were crowds
rejoicing. All night long, also, the workmen hung
banners and tapestries and cloth of gold, and there
were chimes like thousands of bells ringing together."
"Does that great cathedral where the kings are
crowned seem to be more than a church ? "
" Outwardly it is hke a carven cliff of stone, and
took my breath from my throat at the first sight.
Within, when a few voices chant, the sound swells
nntU an army seems chanting ; but when an army doth
chant, the mighty rolling volume is like nothing I shaU
hear again on this earth. Also, there were wheels in
wheels of tinted light shedding glory. The piUars
are set up as they would support the sky, and all our
family could sit on the base of one. Besides these
seats around the pillars, three rows of stone benches are
formed by the rise of the walls above the pavement.
" Then there was the procession of the Sainte Am-
poule containing the holy oU, which an angel brought
from heaven for anointing our kings. Priests carried
it under a canopy— a nttle round flask the size of my
194 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC
thumb, but larger about tlie bottom and shoulders,
and smaller about the middle and top, all crusted with
red and green gems, with a stopper of gold. Out of
this did the archbishop anoint the kiug on his head,
his shoulders, within the joints of his arms and the
pabns of his hands, slits being cut and embroidered
in his robe to this use. It was all done according to
ancient custom. And then did two nobles lift the
crowned king in his chair, and show him to the people.
He was proclaimed, and chimes and voices and music
of instruments rolled in the arches ; and I, being with
Jacques within the choii', could see my child stand on
the lowest step of the high altar with her banner. Oh,
Mengette, I am the happiest woman in France, what-
ever comes of all this, for it is clear I am the mother
of a deliverer ; but it was at first hard for me to believe
that St. Michael stooped to our garden, and St. Cath-
erine and St. Margaret continually instructed her."
" You believe it now, godmother 1 "
" Have I not seen with my own eyes the things re-
sulting therefrom ? They are more wonderful to me
than the coming of saints."
Before next dawn Mengette was crossing the moist,
dark lane to milk her godmother's cows, knowing that
Isabel would be weary from the journey. It was not
light enough to see artichokes standing stiff like huge
green dahlias in the village gardens, or even to dis-
tinguish poppies thick in little squares of wheat, their
crimson heads embroidering the yellow mass ; but aU
hidden sweetness was on the air, and the smeU of the
yellow linden flowers was a complete delight. Thus
the sleeping Domremy, the dew-reeking, half-seen,
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ABC 195
natural Domremy, made up to Mengette for the cruelty
of its inhabitants. She did not wish to meet a living
soul, and was seeking her work in the end of the night
to avoid the earliest risers; for Mengette had wild
instincts, and felt the scratches on her outraged breast
branding her with disgrace. That her neighbors had
been called to public rebuke and public repentance
made no difiEerence to her. She hated no one, but she
desired to make a retreat from the world, and it was
fortunate that Gerardin d'Epinal had hired her to
work in his vineyard that day.
The D'Arc house was not buUt to shelter its own
cattle, like other cottages, but had a thatched stone
stable beyond its garden. Oxen and cows, brought
carefully in to repose for the night under shelter,
sighed their content in the darkness; and Mengette,
as she entered, made haste to say, "God and St.
Bridget bless you ! " so the cows would not kick over
She shivered with the lonesome chilliness of early
morning ; but at mid-forenoon the warm land glowed
about her, a fervid breath risiag from the earth.
When . Mengette had employment, her geese were
obliged to remain shut up in their own end of the
house, quavering as if their nostril-holes scented the de-
licious summer landscape outside ; for Choux avoided
that common employment of old people and children,
and would not lead a goose out to graze.
When all laborers paused for the mid-forenoon meal,
Jacquemine d'Arc came among the low vines search-
ing for Mengette. She did not stand up until he de-
tected her bare head above her strange clothes ; for,
196 THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'AEC
her every-day wear being shi-edded to rags, she was
obliged to fall back on her mother's chest.
Jaequemine was in his best, and he chose his way
like a magistrate, so that Gerardin d'Epinal at the
other side of the vineyard, whose experience as a
traveler was considerable, might feel his new dignity.
Gerardin chuckled in his piece of loaf as he crunched
it with hard teeth, and silently prophesied about the
people of Vaucouleurs, and their submission to a bailiff
like Jaequemine d'Arc. " He will go in with a strut
and a bellow, like a little bull of the Vosges," laughed
Gerardin; "and come out over the wall, tossed by
bigger horns than his own. Bertrand de Poulengy is
of no greater stature than Jaequemine, yet he doth fill
the eye like a man, while this creature might as well
be a bush, so little regard have people to his humors.
Doubtless the king laughed in his royal sleeve at his
new bailiff; but Vaucouleurs will count it an un-
gracious return for sending him the pucelle."
Some regret for the hard-working maid who was
bound by contract to Jaequemine also glanced through
the peasant's mind. " She coiild make a better mar-
riage," he reflected, " particularly now, whUe such in-
dignation is felt for her ; but even the pucelle cannot
turn this poor brother into a husband to be desired
of any maid."'
"I am going to Vaucouleurs," was Jacquemine's
Mengette remembered when his father had spoken
the same words, and he had afterward accused Jehan-
nette of disgracing the family. She looked up quickly
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC 197
from tlie knife and lump of bread in her hands, and
he was shrewd to perceive her thoughts.
" Because the king made me bailiff of Vaucouleurs
when I was in Eheims," he said, coloring helplessly,
" I did not on that account stint speaking the truth
to my sister. I told her plainly the people here in
Domremy said she raised sieges by witchcraft."
Mengette's sunburnt cheeks whitened, and she looked
down. She had no spirit left. His words did not
dispraise the people of Domremy, but she blamed him
little ; he was himself happy. The elfish naughtiness
of this lad whom she had helped to reai', his spites
and frank self-love and jealousies, had always touched
her pity ; but the shock which her traditions had re-
ceived unsettled her even toward Jacquemine. She
wished she had hid herself at Bermont spring instead
of coming to work in the vineyard.
" Will you stay in Vaucoiileurs f "
" I shaU live there. A bailiff is not like a captain
of a town, who may live where he pleases ; but he must
set up his house among the people he governs. I am
no fool," said Jacquemine, with a twist of his foxy
head. "This great ha-hu of Jehannette's may not
last. My brother Jean will get wind of it at Vauthon,
and his wife's family will urge him to make his profit
out of it ; but I am the eldest, and the first honor is by
right offered to me. Bailiffs are not bailiffs merely to
amuse themselves. I intend to squeeze Vaucouleurs."
" What was done for Pierrelo ? "
" Oh— Pierre— he hath everything like a great noble.
You should see him caracole on a horse. And he
198 THE DAYS OF JEANNE B'AEC
hath put on clothes and armor that swell his person
to increased bigness. ' La ! I am the brother of the
pueelle ! '—that is aU his thought. Doubtless he told
the dukes and captains she had no elder brother, for
they knew nothing about me."
" I would I could see him and Jehannette."
Jacquemine's sandy eyebrows drew together with
" It is plain you are not glad to see me, and Durand
Laxart's horse stands saddled ready for me while I
climb up hither to set a day for our marriage. The
bailiff of Vaucouleurs can marry when he pleases.
We are no longer obliged to wait until Choux's
To Mengette, whose world was scarcely a league
square, such a translation to new spheres was blinding.
" Oh, Jacquemine," she cried out with a rush of joy,
" I now want to leave Domremy."
"It is soon arranged. There is Henri Eoyer in
Vaucouleurs, who is well disposed toward us, and will
help me to seek a suitable house. A bailiff is not to
be lodged as common peasants lodge. I saw in Rheims
in what excellent regard the citizens of the three es-
tates are held. There are in this realm three ranks
called the three estates, Mengette— the clergy, the
barons and knights, and the citizens."
" But what wiQ your father do for help in his fields ? "
" He will be obliged to hire a laborer. When he
loses me he will lose a son indeed ; but both my father
and mother have spoken of the marriage. They see
it will be necessary, and I have remained the last of
THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'AEC 199
" How will Choux be received in Vaucouleurs, Jac-
quemine ? "
" Choux will stay where he is. He can still sleep in
your house, and my mother can feed him."
Mengette thought about it. The hf ting of her life-
long burden brought a deep breath of relief from her
bosom; but the old custom, the old discomfort, the
old duty, which her father had told her death alone
could free her from, were drawn back with her next
" No ; I must not throw the care of him upon any
" He shaU not go to Vaucouleurs— I will tell you
" Then I must stay in Domremy, and still feed and
"Do you love old Choux?"
Mengette covered her face with one arm, and shud-
" "Why, then, do you hold by him 1 "
Her eyes, as she opposed her lover, took again the
" There is a pitying, Jacquemine, which is hke reli-
gion. I cannot disregard it ; happiness would turn to
"Do you choose to stay here with him, working in
the fields, rather than to go with me ? "
" I cannot choose, Jacquemine ; it was all settled
without my choosing."
He flung his nervous body a few steps from her, and
looked back. " Then it is adieu between us."
"Jacquemine, you came up here to quarrel with
200 THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'AEC
me. You scarce gave me a good day or a kiss on the
cheek, and there was only Gerardin, who knows how
long we have been betrothed. You were not like this
before the king made you bailiff of Vaucouleurs ; but
it is true, I am not fit for your wife."
She turned to her work, and he came back. They
faced each other for more words, when Choux appeared,
carrying his hump less lightly than before its bruising,
to take his share of the forenoon meal from his feeder.
The stealthy odor of him crept within the vine frar
grance, and Jacquemine looked at htm over one shoul-
der, and gave him the field.
Mengette yielded her knife and lump of bread to
the old creature. The chief member of her foster
familj', the one through whom she had hoped for rel-
atives and happiness, stalked on down hiU, without
again looking back, to claim for himself dignities and
honors, and left her for life to this degraded company.
Choux made little noises of satisfaction over his food,
grunts and smacks of the palate, bestial, unlike the
honest grinding and hearty human enjoyment of a
Mengette hid herself among the vines as far as she
could from him, and knelt there, doubling her body
forward, and weeping upon her knees.
OTON DE XANTRAILLBS is love-lorn,"
said La Hire, with a wink at his friend's
back; for the tall knight mounted and
rode off to St. Denis without waiting for
him. La Hire's own courser was held ready by a page,
but he lingered, spreading himself and Ms cloak upon a
chair, and holding a cup in his fist on the table where
he had been drinking. He sat before the door of his
quarters in the crowded lane of La Chapelle, which
was then a small faubourg outside the ramparts of
Paris. There was a stretch of fields to the city walls
on the southern horizon.
"Since Poton hath been appointed governor of
Coucy his mind runs to serious things,— mass and
confession,— so that he hath no longer any stomach
for good company. Take warning by Poton, Messire
d'Arc, and let thoughts of women alone. La Hire
never looks at a woman," said the old sinner, rolling
his eyes behind his chair, where Pierre could see a red
petticoat half concealed by his wide cloak.
"What have we in La Chapelle or St. Denis to
make a man love-lorn, Messire La Hire ? " the pucelle's
202 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC
brother asked, laughing. He knew well whose black
eyes snapped near the knight's broad shoulder.
Though women of her class were forbidden the camp,
he had many times seen Haumette Davide, gorgeous
from a summer among Burgundians, sUp about be-
hind his sister's back. And he had talked with her,
half in contempt and half in pity, loving the familiar
sound of the whistling Domremy " oui," which is hke
Pierre sat his horse with drawn rein for the pastime
of enjoying La Hire's embarrassment. But he added
in seriousness :
" Messire de Xantrailles is only cast down like the
rest of us because we are kept idle in camp."
The knight struck the table until his wine-flask
" We ought to take Paris to-morrow. By my baton,
La Hire is tired of this. The king and La TremouiUe
have sat in St. Denis a week, holding the pucelle in
leash, bemoaning the expenses of an army they keep
idle; while the Duke of Bedford in Paris laughs at
them, having a hundred and twenty thousand Kvres
tournois a month to his revenue drawn from France."
In his excitement La Hire raised and shook his arm,
twitching the cloak farther off Haumette. Her re-
minder caused his face to fall into sudden distortion,
and he arranged his draperies in haste ; but in serious
conference with the soldier Pierre forgot to be amused
by the bacchanal. He looked through a passage left
between houses at meadows sweeping away to the
Seine, which, after cleaving Paris, makes a bend north-
ward. He could not see the distant river, but aU the
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 203
fields were spread with September glory of pale-pink
and pale-blue crocuses, star-cloth, a prodigal carpet
for mailed feet and trundling artOlery and the chafing
of coursers' hoofs. Pierre could smeU, above the barn-
yard odors of this stone village crowded with many
horses, a piece of wild mignonette he had stuck in his
corselet because it reminded him of Domremy. There
the little brownish-yeUow blossom twinkled all sum-
mer, overclothing the sward in every direction.
" Messire La Hire, is La Tremouille part English ? "
" No ; but he is wholly bad French. Hark ye, my
lad, who was Georges La Tremouille before the king
took him up ? Nothing but a dependent of the Due
de Richemont, and for being placed at court by that
noble he hath bred enmity betwixt his patron and the
king. He had a sister married to a low Scot little
better than a stable-boy. You remember," cried La
Hire, with pleasure in bringing the facts to Pierre's
own experience, " the little maid that embroidered the
puceUe's standard in Tours ? "
Pierre did remember her, to the roots of his hair.
He sat his horse, helplessly detected in a feeling which
La Hire had not the eyes to see.
" That was the Scotchman's daughter, the chUd of
La Tr^mouille's sister. She hath been left on his
hands by the Scotch painter's death since we marched
" Who brought news of the Scotch painter's death,
messire ? "
"A messenger from the queen to the king, that I
myself saw in St. Denis yesterday. His name—"
" But where now is the demoiselle ? "
204 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AKC
" Oh, she is with her grandmother in Loches ; and
the favorite's elder sister, De Beuil's wife, hath already
stirred herself to tie the young calf to the royal crib.
The Scotch demoiselle is now our queen's new maid
of honor. Bring in all nations," blustered La Hire.
"France is meat for every crow on earth. By my
baton, if G-od Almighty came down to France in these
days, he would turn robber like the rest ! "
Pierre felt strong need to slap La Hire's red face,
where unshaven hairs bristled with general aggres-
siveness ; but taking up the glove for the La Tr^mouille
family against his friend was such madness that he
put himself beyond another word by spurring off sud-
denly for St. Denis. Charles had appointed a council
to consider an attack on Paris,— the king was not
slack in holding councils,— and Pierre's duty was to
attend the pucelle.
" It is time La Hire himself took to horse," declared
the knight, in a flurry of haste, bouncing around on
his chair. " Come out now, minion ; drink your wine,
and begone. Do you want to give a godly fellow a
bad name in the camp? The pucelle herself might
ride by if it were not for the council in St. Denis."
"What care I for the pucelle?" scoffed Haumette,
resuming her seat on the table, and filling the cup she
had carried into hiding. "Did I not know her in
Domremy? She is no better than I am. Must I lie
perdu whenever the D'Are family make a procession ?
No, by my faith ! The Davides are as good as they are."
" Ho ! " cried the knight, starting up and seizing her
by the shoulders. " Down again, Haumette ! Squat,
toad ! —yonder comes the pucelle."
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 205
" Let her squat before me," retorted Haumette, hold-
ing stubbornly to the table.
" But it is the puceUe."
" I also," said Haumette, defiantly—" I am a puceUe
of Domremy. There be two of us, Messire Broadbaek."
La Hire's face became dinted all over, as if every
fat pore opened its mouth in consternation. "Oh,
get thee behind me, Sathan ! By all the batons in
Christendom, see the minion flaunt ! "
He snatched his cloak and bolted into the house
out of sight. Haumette sprang upon the table. Her
wide-featured, snapping-eyed beauty took on unspeak-
able insolence. "Bring here the horse," she com-
manded La Hire's page ; and not being hindered by
his master, he led it to the table, and Haumette be-
strode it. The coui'ser reared, but the page stUl held
its huge iron bit, restraining its power, while she with
the bridle directed its course.
Jeanne came riding beside the king from the direc-
tion of Paris, where they had been inspecting the
ramparts, with a small escort. Her face was marked
by weariness and discouragement. She wore instead
of her helmet a hat with turned-up brim cut in battle-
ments which encircled her forehead like a crown.
Wind and sun had taken away some of her whiteness,
and anguish was growing in the hazel eyes from royal
inertia; but she was a divine sight, which men re-
membered, and afterward described according to their
The triumphal march of that glorious summer
which had given back to their king Soissons, Chateau-
Thierry, Compifegne, and many another town, with
206 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC
wide stretches of northern country, which had terrified
the Duke of Bedford from Paris to Normandy, and
back again to Paris, and had drained new levies of
men from England, was now to be whoUy lost or wholly
consummated by its ending at Paris. The regent had
been cautious about risking decisive battle, but Charles
had outdone his invaders, so that English and French
armies only touched in a skirmish near Baron, by
Senhs. "Paris," said the Duke of Bedford, "is the
key of France." And Charles seemed loath to stretch
out his hand and seize the key of his realm. He could
not advantageously use what was in loyalty given to
him, while the Eegent of England, in order to carry
on war, was strong-handed enough to lay a tax even
on the small pay of his soldiers.
All the hopelessness of Jeanne's colossal task took
physical shape in a woman of the camp shocking
against her with an ill-guided and struggling courser.
She looked up from her saddle-bow at an impudent
face defying her even to cleanse the troops. Her eye-
brows drew together, her nostrils quivered, her hand
brought up the sword of Fierbois Kke a flash, and
smote it flat across Haumette Davide's back. The
blade parted in two. One piece fell under the feet of
La Hire's horse, and Jeanne stared silently at what
remained on the hilt in her hand.
" By my faith ! " said Charles, reddening with dis-
pleasure, " you have broken the sword of Fierbois on a
camp-follower. Are there no cudgels in La ChapeUe ? "
She heard whispers behind her and outcries in the
houses. The maid had broken her miraculous sword ;
it was a bad omen ! La Hire's page picked up the
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 207
fragment, still holding the snorting courser on which
Hamnette Davide clung and cowered ; and Jeanne tried
to fit the parts together. The camp armorer came
running, but he shook his head at the sight. Those
old blades which could be bent around the body— the
making of them was a lost art, and the mending of
them was an art yet undiscovered.
Jeanne left the sword in his hands without a second
look. Her eyes dwelt on the creature she had struck.
It was not her instant recognition or piteous repen-
.tanee which pierced Haumette Davide. Nor was it
her blinding greatness that made the depraved one
crouch before her. It was some nameless power, some
revealing of light from another world.
When Jeanne d'Arc had passed on, Haumette
slipped from the horse and crept to a secluded place
where she could sit on one of the cylindrical stones
bestowed at waU sides to keep wheels from chafing.
" I wish she had run me through with her sword,"
said Haumette ; " it would be too good for such as I
am, but her sword would not be hurt."
Next day Paris was assaulted. At night the maid
was brought by a rabble of troops wounded into La
ChapeUe, having met her first defeat. It was like a
rout, where no knight could coUect his retinue, and
horses clashed harness with one another in the low
evening light coming across level plains. The young
Due d'AlenQon was beside her. She rode with her
head on her breast, unconscious that one mailed foot
occasionally dripped blood through the clumsy iron
Jeanne's victories had been culminations of effort.
208 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AKC
Wlien the French flagged after long fighting, and their
enemies also relaxed effort, then the spirit seemed to
come mightily upon her. At early morning assault
was made on the Porte St. Honore, and lasted until
evening. Straining with all her might, Jeanne yet
waited for that certain sign that Paris was given to
her, when the king and La Tremouille sounded a re-
treat. It was then twilight. Jeanne, without heed-
ing the trumpet, led on in the midst of din and crash.
Two knights, being sent for the purpose, seized her
and forced her upon her horse. " En nom De, we are
about to go in," pleaded the struggling puceUe. But
the tide of retreat had set out, and it carried her
" Take this not to heart," urged D'Alen^on, leaning
toward her. "We wiU try Paris on another side.
What do you think of the bridge of boats across the
Seine at St. Denis ? You shall see Paris nearer than
you have yet seen it, and by the left bank, though we
ride far to strike where a stroke is least expected."
" The bridge of boats was well planned ; but, fair
duke," said Jeanne, throwing up her vizor, and show-
ing the deep lights of her eyes to this companion in
arms, " the city was ours this night. We should have
gone in through the breach we had made. It was
" A night's rest and comforting of the bolt-wound
in your foot wiU not come amiss. Without waiting
on councils, we will take our people and dash across
to a new attack at dawn. If your woimd proves too
sore, send me instant word by your page, puceUe."
" The wound shall not hinder me ; I scarce knew I
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC 209
had it until they pulled me from the breach. We will
ride early, fair duke, and that must be a loud trumpet
that recalls us to-morrow."
She was ready to laugh, with the prospect of di-
rectly renewing the assault. And the La Chapelle
woman in whose house and bedchamber she slept rose
astonished, in the dark of the morning, to bring her
the bread and watered wine on which she broke her
fast. A young maid with a pierced foot in bandages
and oU, she di-essed in haste like joy itself, to go out
through fog across a bridge of boats, to be shot at again
by aU the archers of Paris !
Bertrand de Poulengy came with her armor, and as
he drew the straps with practised fingers she promised
"We wiU take Paris to-day, Bertrand; and after-
ward, by exchange of prisoners, we must get poor
D'Aulon back. You have had double labor since he
fell into the hands of the BngUsh at Baron. I grieve
for poor D'Aulon."
" I also," said Bertrand, with gentle irony— " I grieve
for poor D'Aulon."
" I do esteem him, Bertrand."
" I also," said Bertrand. " As soon as the English
had him my esteem rose. If they will only keep him,
I shall in time love him like a brother."
Jeanne glanced over her shoulder at her squire, who
was diligent with her buckles.
"Indeed, D'Aulon never grieved me. But I have
done myself more discomfort than any other has ever
done me, by breaking the sword of Fierbois. It can
never be mended. Oh, Bertrand, I did not come to the
210 THE DAYS OP JEANKE D'AEC
wars to break the sword of Fierbois on poor Haumette
Davide ! "
" Let it go, and heed it not," said the squire, bring-
ing her belt with a strong sword which she had taken
the day before at the Porte St. Honors. " Here is one
that answers as well to give good blows and clouts
She had herself thrown the long-sleeved levite over
her mail, and as he knelt with her girdle, her unusually
piteous face broke him down in his vow. He seized
her hands and kissed them, and trembled with uncon-
trollable passion. The touch of her was so sweet to
him, and ease from his long self-restraint was so
blessed, that he held her with strength until she
wrenched herself loose, throwing him forward upon
The squire stood up and faced her, his blue eyes
dauntless with the rage of his love. Jeanne turned
her back on him.
"I win go to Haumette Davide," spoke Bertrand.
" She is at least a woman. She will speak a word of
pity to a wretch that has not had his torment eased in
three long years. My faith, as well as the sword of
Fierbois, shall be broken on Haumette Davide ! "
He flung himself into the humid dawn, where fog
trailed like wet threads in La Chapelle street between
his face and the face of Louis de Coutes, who held
The page gave little heed to the squire. Holding
the bridles of war-horse and palfrey, he waited in hag-
gard excitement to deliver news to the maid. Jeanne
brought out her casque, which Bertrand had left un-
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 211
laced, for Louis de Coutes to carry behind her on his
saddle-bow. The squire was nowhere to be seen, and
even Pierre failed to attend her. The low sky trailed
on roofs, and drops of humidity began at once to dim
her mail like an overcoating of minute beads.
" The Due d'AleuQon and Messire Pierre d'Arc have
both gone to St. Denis," said the page, without wait-
ing for her inquiry.
" They are in haste, but by hard riding we shaJl
overtake them. Are the troops all stirring?"
Louis stood bareheaded before her. The hair curled
around his neck. "PuceUe, they went to the king.
They bade me tell you the bridge of boats is cut adrift.
No one can now cross to attack Paris."
" When was this thing done ? "
" By whose command ? "
" The king's."
Jeanne's face stiffened ; but she said directly : " The
bridge of boats— en nom D4, let it go; we can enter
elsewhere than by the bridge of boats. "We shall go
in by the breach made yesterday at Porte St. Honor6.
Why has the duke gone to the king ? He should be
riding down hither with his troops. Mount, and after
him ! I think the men are all mad this morning.
We have no time for councils and visits of ceremony."
" But, pucelle," disclosed the page, " King Charles
has ordered a retreat from Paris."
The stern maid put her attendant on his defense.
" Am I to believe this story ? Who left St. Denis in
the night with such commands from the king ? "
" His Majesty's own herald. And there was haste ;
212 THE DAYS OP JEAI^NE D'AEC
but you were not to be roused from sleep. The Due
d'Alen^on rode off to St. Denis to inquire into the
matter, and te himself sent you word that the bridge
of boats is cut adrift."
" The king has ordered a retreat from Paris "? "
" It is the truth, pucelle."
Jeanne put her arm on her courser's neck, and leaned
with all the weight of her mail. She gasped as if
some one had struck her in the breast ; and Louis de
Coutes, forced to be purveyor of this cruelty, was ready
to cui'se his sovereign. Yet the courtier's instinct to
make his own advantage out of another's discomfiture
was boldly alert in his look. He was sorry for the
military leader, but he was fiercely glad the woman
had met a rebuff which might make her kind. The
boy's eyes filled with honest tears, and he slid to his
knees, holding the bridles in his arm.
" Oh, my great mistress, I am of good family. Look
not on me as your horse-boy. By our Lady, I can
hold back no longer ! I shall soon be knighted, and
no woman need then despise me as a husband."
" Stand up ! " said Jeanne. " Have you no regard
for your hose, furnished by a poor king who has just
been forced to throw away Paris ? "
" If I stand up at no kinder bidding, it will be to
lay your squire low."
" Go to the king, Louis de Coutes, and tell him I
now have no need of a page. Ask him any favor he
can do you for my sake. We shall part at St. Denis."
The enraged boy followed her as she took her own
bridle from him to mount. " I wiQ not be turned off
like a varlet ! " His large, light eyes and loose lips
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AKC 213
and tlie thick tip of his nose seemed distended by
Bnt he knew he had banished himself from the maid,
and her reserve, as she looked down from the saddle,
chilled him and sealed his mouth. She thanked him
for his service, commended him again to the king, and
rode off. Louis de Coutes struck the earth-stains on
his shins, and glanced at neighboring windows. La
Chapelle was stirring in the sullen dawn. He could
do nothing but mount his palfrey and follow at a dis-
tance, debarred from his page's duties.
Early as it was, the abbey of St. Denis, where
the king lodged, showed preparations for departure.
Charles carried with him such luxuries as he could,
and he never for any military consideration omitted a
dinner or a night's rest. But he was as near eager-
ness as his phlegmatic nature ever approached to be
done with the campaign and on the southward road.
To retreat from the capital without taking it at that
time meant to disband the army. Officers and their
retinues signed indentures of service for a specified
number of months, and without reenlistment they
could not even go into winter quarters to be at the
disposal of the sovereign, though many knights and
nobles, among them La Hire, De Xantrailles, and the
Due d'Alen^on, would retire into the north to hold
towns and fortresses.
Seldom had so much been done by loyal subjects
for an impoverished monarch. The pucelle herself
had acted as his treasurer, husbanding his means to
the utmost, and holding the retinues of his captains so
devoted to her that they would have served for noth-
214 THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'ARC
ing but their bread. Those northern cities that had
returned to their allegiance needed the protection of
the capital. Charles left them to shift for themselves.
Master of Paris, where the Duke of Burgundy was
the most popular man in the kingdom, he might have
treated successfully with that alienated vassal.
The west door of the cathedral of St. Denis opened
from a mean street crowded with many little shops.
Jeanne entered it lame-footed, coming from her inter-
view with the king, about the middle of the forenoon.
Within she sat down on the steps which form a short
terrace to a vast expanse of floor. Opposite, far away,
stood the great altar bearing up a gold Christ between
two tail candles. Echoes resounded in the Gothic
arches from a service in one of the chapels. Jeanne
set her helmet, which she still carried, on the floor be-
side her, a polished head-piece, like the top of a knight
embedded in stone.
The king had commanded her to. follow him to
Bourges. Already the retreat from Paris was begun,
though it would have to be covered by troops, and La
Chapelle and St. Denis would not be entirely evacu-
ated for several days. She leaned her face on her
hands, too sore in body and spirit to creep down for
a prayer before the nearest altar. A tardy sun was
begiuning to make glimmers through the clerestory
windows high above.
Her enemies, of whom she had scarcely thought in the
ardor of war and fatigue of many marches, now pressed
her in defeat, and seemed to follow her under the
arches of St. Denis. The Regent of England and the
Duke of Burgundy Jeanne left out of account. They
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 215
were to be met in open field. But there was La Tr^-
motiille, covert and mocking, a man who had never
been earnest in anything except the pursuit of his
own pleasure. He had done as much to bring the
campaign to naught as if he held secret league with
the English. La Tr^mouiUe had also prevented the
queen from journeying to Rheims, thus robbing her
of coronation. And there was La Tr^mouille's friend,
the Count-Bishop of Beauvais, who had some little
quarrel against her concerning horses bought of him
by her household, and perhaps a larger hatred for that
most unreasonable of all reasons— jealousy of power.
Moreover, there was the Archbishop of Rheims, the
favorite's brother, who had taken that same strange
attitude towardher. "En nomDe !"whisperedJeanne,
" if they thought more of the king's dignity, and less
of their own, it would be the better for Prance."
But there, also, were her friends, scores, thousands,
men, women, children, stout knights and nobles and
men-at-arms. Answering the silent roU-call of her
need, one of them entered the cathedral. The inner
door swung shut behind him. He was, like herself,
all armed except his head, and carried a plumed hat
in his hand when he saw her. The knight who had
refused to follow her standard at Orleans was first to
seek her in defeat at St. Denis.
The maid's eyes met his in a long gaze of sorrow.
He stooped to one knee to talk mth her. Their low
voices did not spread from one little circle of sound
in the echoing cathedral.
"Has anything further befallen us, Messire de
Gamaches ? "
216 THE DAYS OF JEAJSTNE D'ARC
" No, pucelle. I come to beg that there be no adieus
betwixt us two."
" Why, we must all part, Messire de G-amaches. But
I tell you, and I have been informed truly, however it
may go with you and me, there will not be an English-
man left on the soil of France within seven years."
" God send there be no favorites left, either. Do
you desire to follow the king ? "
" I would far rather go home and tend my sheep,
messire, which you would have had me do at Orleans ! "
" You do not forget that I rebelled against follow-
ing your standard before it had led us to so many
victories 1 "
" I remember you offered me your horse when I took
my first wound."
" Not my horse alone, but my lands and myself I am
ready to offer you now. Pucelle, I am of good family,
though scarce your equal in arms."
"Messire de Gamaches, there be plenty of women
in France for wives. You may easily choose among
them ; I never saw a more accomplished knight. But
I was born to other uses. The king had best employ
my time, for it will not be long."
"I have a regard for you, pucelle, that I have for
no other, man or woman. We have been captains to-
gether, and I had liefer be commanded by you than
by any other. When you take the field agaiu I will
follow your standard."
" Messire, you have given me the only comfort I
have had this day. When the king has so many good
men ready in his hand, how can he disperse them?
But it is the favorite's doing."
" Yes, the apricots like little red apples will be past
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 217
fclieir season in Bourges, if La Tr6motinie makes no
haste to disband the army. I have heard him mourn
the loss of them, together with his ease."
" Yet he tilted well by SenMs, messire."
" A man must sometimes shiver a lance, or age will
come on him in his youth. Pucelle, I am loath to let
you go south to yonder court."
Jeanne gave him both her hands in farewell. Their
gauntlets met with a metallic sound. She thought,
" When shall I see such goodly arrays of men gathered
again ? " Her eyes swam, her chin quivered. As these
companions in arms had met, so they parted, with a
long look of sorrow. The closing door swung silently
behind De Gamaches, and Jeanne limped slowly down
the steps, helmet in hand.
No more would that casque lead like a star in as-
saults. It had been broken by a stone at Jargeau.
She traced the closed seam which an armorer had skil-
One old woman with kerchief-bound head, and a
wrinkled man in blue smock, knelt at their prayers.
Pattering with unceasing lips, they watched the glit-
tering figure, already loved in St. Denis, pass along the
cathedral wall. Jeanne felt her wound to f aintness as
she descended to the crypt under this church, where
all the kings of France, from Dagobert, were buried.
Low stone galleries wound about vaults and chapels
in which the great gray coffins were enshrined. Charles
had given up these as well as his capital to the enemy.
She dragged her foot along the stone path, or leaned
her forehead against the side of a cold arch. The
crypt was deadly chill.
Another mailed tread followed her, and she saw
218 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC
Poton de Xantrailles coming, tall and well-tliewed,
thin-faced and sharp-eyed, but downcast, as though
he bent his head to escape the top of the crypt. Like
all the captatas, he was ready harnessed, for a general
attack on Paris had been intended by way of the bridge
Jeanne felt her heart unendurably swelling toward
the scattering army. De XantraiUes, with the gentle
manners of courts, controlled himself, and gave her
first a message from the king, who would know, siace
she had dismissed her page, young Louis de Coutes,
if she desired to have Louis's brother Raymond in-
" En nom D6," answered Jeanne, " let me have no
more of the De Coutes family." She laughed. " The
knights are dispersing, and Paris is thrown away, and
we must take thought only of pages. But understand
well, I do not blame my king, Messire de XantraOles."
He stood high above the maid. His vizor was lifted.
De XantraiUes had witnessed the glories of the court
of Burgundy— a duchy that outdid many kingdoms in
splendor, where tournaments were oftener celebrated
than anywhere else in Christendom, and chivalry, in-
stead of falling to decay, was at its height. But loyalty
which excused the lax relinquishment of a kingdom
he had not often seen.
" Have you heard the cause of this sudden retreat ? "
" Charles has just completed making a truce with
the Duke of Burgundy until Easter."
" The only truce with the Duke of Burgundy should
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 219
be made at tlie point of a lance ! He showed his sov-
ereign nothing but contempt when a message was sent
from Rheims beseeching him to throw in his lot with
his people. The English only desire to use him."
" You had scarce left the king, pucelle, when a knight
came riding from Paris with sixty followers to join
the royal party. He says the city was never so ready
to yield. But we have made truce with Burgundy, so
we go home."
Tears, always ready in Jeanne from childhood,
gushed down the oval cheeks. She turned and sobbed
against the wall. Oh, it was bitter to be ruined at the
goal by a courtier's misgovernment !
"Jeanne," said De XantraiHes, trembling in the
voice, " I am appointed governor of Coucy, the strong-
est fortress in France. I am of good family."
The maid drew her breath sharply at these ominous
" I wiU demand you of your brother Pierre, and also
of the king, as any maid should be demanded. Come
with me to Coucy. The wife of De XantraiUes may
at least live apart from a court ruled by the favorite."
"En nom De, what ails these men?" cried Jeanne.
" Have you aU agreed to take pity on a poor scourge
of England because she is thrown aside, and house her
since she has no field for her arms ? But I know why
you come to me with tears in your eyes, thinking com-
fort may be found in marriage. It is the cry of France
rending every one of us."
She set her casque on the floor, and took him by both
gauntlets, as she had taken that other good knight,
De Gamaches. Her companion in arms worshiped her
220 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC
Silently, without daring to draw her nearer his mailed
As if she coiild not bear any further words of part-
ing from captains who felt this general bereavement
as she felt it, Jeanne snatched up her helmet, and
limped away from De XantraUles along the crypt.
Behind the choir of St. Denis, and back of the great
altar, was a little chapel to the Virgin. Bertrand de
Poulengy was kneeHng there. He heard a halting step
behind him, and turned and saw the maid. With her
eyes fixed on the statue, she began to unbuckle her
armor. Exhausted and ghastly, and struggling with
her unaccustomed task, she yielded him back his of&ce
of sqiure without a word of reproach, standing ia the
stained light which poured over her from high windows.
" I went to Haumette Davide," he whispered to the
maid. "She is going home to her mother with De
Metz of Novelopont, when he has taken leave of you.
Win you call me D'AuIon hereafter— the squire who
never caused you any discomfort? Let me take his
place while he is a prisoner."
" I have no longer need of squire or armor," answered
Jeanne ; " yet I cannot well do without you."
" That is enough for me."
" You are fit to approach this altar ? "
" I am not unfit."
The squire helped her carry all the pieces of her
armor and place them about the feet of the statue.
Jeanne knelt, and lifted her sword by the blade in both
hands, with the cross-hilt over her head.
" My vii'gin armor I sacrifice and offer here upon
this altar. It is the cry of France ! "
ITTLE king of Bourges" thougli Charles
VII was called by his enemies, he had no
palace there, and was obliged to use the
ch&teau of his uncle, the Due de Berri, who
retired for the winter to another outside the walls.
The ch&teau of Bourges was a wide, stately pile of
stone, blackened instead of bleached by age, seated
among threading streets and crowding houses, half-
way up a slope of land at the top of which stood St.
fitienne's cathedral. Common soldiers and attendants
entered the chateau from the street below by a court
opening into guard-rooms. But the Chevalier du Lys
turned in at one of the great gates which, standing
opposite, made a crossing street of the paved court
fronting the palace.
Pages were always hastening up or down the stone
steps, and horses waiting in the court, except at this
hour when night fell and candle-light began to glim-
mer. A torch burned at each side of the steps, strug-
gling with foggy air, and the stones were slippery with
hardening moisture under the chevalier's feet. He
passed through half-deserted antechambers,— for at
222 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC
dusk the king still sat at table,— and througli long
vaulted corridors to the great hall where the court
assembled for its evening diversions. Sconced candles
were already lighted along the pillared walls, and logs
roared in the chimney. It was a mighty chimney,
carved aU around with stone oak-leaves. HaJf a dozen
knights could have spurred into it, elbow to elbow,
without grazing their casques on the top. Its swelling
breast withdrew upward to a many-timbered ceiling.
And there the firelight twinkled on polished joists,
while below it spread a river of shine along the floor,
partially bridged by three figures in front of the
The chevalier saw that they were his sister and the
young demoiselles Agnes Sorel and Madeleine Power.
They did not see him. Even Jeanne was dwarfed by
the size of the great room. His heart gave a leap, and,
uncertain whether he should enter while they three
talked by themselves, he stood at the door holding his
hat in his hand. The beauty of Agnes Sorel when
wrath stirred her was like coruscating light. But he
paid no attention to her or to what she said. He looked
at Madeleine Power. As soon as the Chevalier du Lys
had received his patent of nobility, supported by a
grant of land near Orl6ans, and had ceased to be called
Pierre d'Arc, he asked one more favor of the king,
without which the first two were thi'own away upon
him. But he was made to understand that La Tr6-
mouille had already contracted the demoiselle Power
in a suitable alliance.
Jeanne and Madeleine stood with their arms around
each other. AU of Agnes's hair was drawn up from
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 223
her clear forehead under a hennin, and lier cheeks
burned scarlet with excitement.
" This horn- a thing hath been said to me," exclaimed
Agnes, with a pretty catch of her breath as she spoke,
which was nobody's but Agnes Sorel's, " such as never
should be said to maid by the mother-in-law of a king."
" But Queen Yolande is very good-natured," Made-
leine objected. " I never heard her speak amiss."
" Oh, her Majesty of Sicily intends me high honor,
no doubt. But I was not brought up in a court. We
are better nurtured at Loches."
"What did she say?" inquired Jeanne, seeing the
statecraft of Queen Yolande, and her latest attempt to
juggle troops and men out of nothing for the siege of
La Charite after the dispersion of the army.
" I will not tell you. It was an insidt also to my
king. Only a year ago so eager was I to come to court
that I could scarce wait untU my kinswoman resigned
her place to me. And now I am sick to my soul of
base creatures trying to ruin their sovereign before
all Christendom. Any woman would set what wit she
had against it. Look not over-conscious, demoiselle ;
we do not choose our relations in this world."
" I never chose any but my father," returned Made-
" Poor child, you wiU choose no more, shut up in the
queen's nunnery apartments. Oh, if I were Queen of
France I would come out of seclusion, and no other
woman should share with me the rousing of the king."
" He is wedded to Bourges and SuUy," said Jeanne,
wistfully looking at the fire. "The sight of Paris
should have roused him."
224 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC
Agnes Sorel laughed.
" Pucelle, I believe yon see nothing in this court but
the length and strength of men's legs and arms idhng
out of armor. Aside from war, you are as simple as
The Chevalier du Lys heard this as he stood aside
bowing deeply to let the king pass, and he knew it
was so. Many soft-shod feet trod the pavement as the
crowd of courtiers flocked after the king, who leaned
on La Tr^mouille's arm. Silks and satins shone lus-
trously, nor were slashed sleeves wanting, to show
robes of linen underneath. Pierre had heard De Xan-
trailles say that linen, and especially clean linen, was
a luxury everywhere in France, except at the court of
He fell into the tide of human presences. Charles's
household soon gave themselves up to the newly in-
vented diversion of card-playing. The queen had a
religious dislike of what she called idle bits of paper,
and absented herself from the salon where the game
was nightly played. Marie of Anjou, though an un-
usually compliant wife in many ways, had not the sym-
pathetic breadth of her mother, Queen Yolande, who
dealt with zest and fluttering hands, relaxing a mind
filled with schemes for establishing the throne of
Little ceremony was observed; Charles demanded
none of the worship which his cousin of Burgundy
exacted. Seated at many small tables, with many
small piles of coin at stake, the courtiers filled the room
with hum of voices and laughter. Alan Chartier, the
court poet, wandered from table to table, as it was his
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 225
custom to do, holding a lute in the curve of his arm.
The king had Agnes Sorel for his partner, and La
Tr^mouille and his queen's latest maid of honor for
his opponents. La Tr^mouiUe wasted no attentions
on his niece, and Madeleine was first seen in hall that
night after her winter of mourning. She learned her
part doubtfully. Pierre could see her eyebrows draw-
ing together. She lifted her black eyes and met his
gaze with silentt greeting, and this was all the greeting
they two had been allowed since he came to Bourges.
In his comings and goings from his lodgings in the
street Trois Pommes, a little place near the city wall,
and in the cathedral and palace corridors, he had
watched for glimpses of Madeleine. Yet even at the
lax court of Bourges she was so celled and restricted
that he saw her only at a distance. After the rejec-
tion of his suit he had gladly followed his sister from
court in her brief restricted campaign eastward. The
Chevalier du Lys felt how alien his sister and he were
with their new patent of nobility.
If Charles had concluded a treaty with the King of
Scotland for help in his wars, it would have cost him
the duchy of Berri or the county of Evreus. Jeanne
d'Arc had cost him nothing, and was a greater terror
to his foes, and with her thrifty peasant hand had doled
his war funds to the uttermost advantage. The least
he could do for her was to rank her among nobles, so
a patent was conferred on her and all her family. The
heralds made her a coat of arms, giving her the mas-
culine shield instead of the feminine lozenge, and the
device of the crown upheld on the point of her sword
between royal fleurs-de-lis. Du Lys was the new name
226 THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'AKC
of her family. But she made no change in her banner,
and said to the heralds, " I remain Jeanne d'Arc. My
father's name is good enough for me, though my
brothers may like the other."
During this dreary winter of her chained inactivity,
a woman named Catherine of Rochelle came to court
with visions ; and there was news of a shepherd boy in
the mountains who promised to do for the king what
Jeanne had undertaken, and to do it better. The
favorite also bestirred himself, and found employment
which would take the maid out of his sight for a while.
She was sent to take St. Pierre-le-Moustier, southeast
of Bourges, which she took as by miracle, and La
Charite, northward, which was so strongly fortified
with watch-towers as to resist a siege. Bourges en-
gaged her octrois, and Orleans also sent her succors,
says a chronicle, but the court provided nothing. The
ground was frozen hard, slippery with frost, and
showers of crystals filled the air like diamond-dust.
Jeanne was glad to have armor again upon her body,
though it was an ill-fitting suit obtained from the Due
de Berri, and glad to be afield and see the sun describe
his little arc in the south. But La Charit6 had to be
abandoned. Once her spirit rose beyond control, and
she rode, with her squire and her brother and a few
attendants, to Orleans and Jargeau and Montfaugon.
There the people stDl thought of France. But she
heard what almost slew her. The state of the country
was now worse than it had been before she took up
arms. Invaders and robbers were alike made bold by
Charles's withdrawal from the north ; and the English
forced exile or death on defenseless people who would
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 227
not forswear their loyalty. Whole villages stood ten-
antless, the inhabitants having journeyed into other
countries. Pestilence also followed the long famine.
Everywhere the earth, rant with centuries of foul ac-
cumulations, yielded up their odor to dampness. It
was told her that wolves prowled even in Paris, that
skeletons of children lay on dunghills, and the cry of
wandering wretches could be heard in the night— "I
am dying of cold and hunger ! " Yet Paris was then
the pleasantest city in France, with covered bridges
and orchards, vineyards and towered fortresses. The
Bastille stood among trees. That winter trenches
were cut and bodies laid in the ground like corded
Pierre could see the intrigues around him. He
knew that Queen Tolande constantly threw Agnes
Sorel in the king's way, and that the Queen of France
was resigned to desperate measures against La Tr6-
momUe. He saw the eyes of that young maid of honor,
defiant against her pursuer, yet melting constantly in
helpless tenderness upon the king. He saw and en-
joyed the jealous rage of La Tr6mouille, who brought
counter-forces to bear in a war suited to a favorite's
talents ; and many another hand-to-hand encounter
Pierre could see betwiKt courtiers sleepy-eyed with
But Jeanne saw nothing. Whenever she came into
hall, a supple, noble figure, her rapt gaze moving from
face to face, she was a rebuke, being above aU martial
glory the maid, virgin in mind and person, the maid
" Why should the paschal lamb be paraded ? " was
228 THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'AEC
spitefully said behind her back. " Turn it out again
to its native grass."
" Oh, Jeanne d'Arc ! " a courtier would groan to
some face within the screen of a fan. " La-la ! I am
so sick of this puceUe. She can take pleasure in no
human pursuit, but must be praying or riding and
fighting. A lover would be more to the purpose at
her age, but she will not even make love. The king
might amuse himself better with a dwarf."
Yet the maid laughed in fellowship and without bit-
terness when she came back flushed from St. Pierre-
le-Moustier, or from rushing through the winter air on
her courser. Her face was not sad, but it wore the
puzzled look of one constrained to waste on lower things
a space of time given for robust action. Housing and
trivial amusements were hard for her to endure, when
the pulse of Prance was again reviving in the north.
Jeanne remained leaning against the chimney, being
left out when tables were set for cards. She was richly
dressed, as the king required her to be, wearing over
the fine cloth of her chevalier's costume a crimson- vel-
vet levite. The long, loose sleeves almost covered her
hands, on one of which she wore the ring her father
had given her at Rheims. A lean chUd like a wolf
stood near, and watched her with sharp eyes, seeming
to measure her capacity for war, and sagely to appre-
ciate her as one of the engines for extending his future
kingdom. A servant of the queen's bedchamber did
reverent battle with him to draw him from this spec-
tacle for the night. But he escaped out of this person's
hands with slippery ease, and roved at will among
THE DATS OP JEANXE IVAKC 229
Then Alan Chartier approached, playing softly on
the Inte he carried a chanson which Jeanne remem-
bered. She met his eyes quickly. The conrt poet was
this winter too often at her heels ; yet she had sym-
pathy with him, as one seeking also for expression,
and sometimes falling into great sadness with life.
" What will yon do with me, pncelle ? " asked Alan
Chartier, making accompaniment to his words on the
lute-strings. " You have got a mastery over me that
grows from day to day."
" God be praised for that," laughed Jeanne. " I
have, then, at least one man-at-arms."
" There is a woman soul in me, and in you there is
the soul of a man. Will you put me to the further
disadvantage of suing for your love?"
" Nenni," answered Jeanne, using the strong peasant
negative. " That I will not, messire."
" The pucelle hath just received a declaration from
Alan Chartier," remarked Agnes Sorel to Charles.
" He plays that purring tune when his affections are
about to make a spring."
" Jumps the cat that way ? " responded the king,
glancing up the room. His stunted dauphin, the wolf-
Uke child, crept behind Agnes, and tweaked hairs on
her white neck below the hennin.
" It was merely the Dauphin Louis amusing him-
self," said a smiling dame at the next table to her, as
she recoiled in pain.
" If the nurse does not remove that boy, I trust God
may ! " Agnes responded ; and Charles himself laughed.
But she caught a gentle caution from the smooth-
shaven, clear-cut face of Jacques Cceur, the silversmith
230 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AKC
of Bourges, wliose many favors to the king gave him
access at any time to court. His friendly smile checked
her impatience with a child to whose making had gone a
mad grandfather and a corrupt and selfish grandmother.
Pierre dealt his cards indifferently. He had been
shoved beside the wall to fill a table far from Made-
leine Power, and cared little whether he won or lost
coin. He could perceive what was befalling Agnes
Sorel in spite of her strict bringing up ; and with the
complete rebellion of youth, he declared to himself that
happiness bought at any price was better than such
misery as his. Madeleine Power had never thought of
him. She was promised in marriage to another man
whose name he could not learn. And after he had
watched for her with heart-sick patience so many
months, she glanced at him once, as at any varlet.
The evening waxing later, card-tables were put
aside for dancing, and Pierre followed his sister into
the upper corridors of the palace. Jeanne also had
lodged in the street Trois Pommes, and afterward with
the wife of Jacques Cceur ; but this being the eve of
the court's departure to Sully, she slept in the palace.
They walked in sUence, both having lost the fresh joy
of life, until Pierre opened the door of a small tower
chamber which Jeanne shared with a maid of honor.
She kissed him on his cheeks, and said :
"Good night, Pierrelo. Be early in the saddle.
SuIly-sur-Loire is the chateau of La Tr^momlle ; but
at least we go toward Compi^gne, where I have reason
to believe our people may now be fighting."
" You saw the demoiselle Paure in the hall, Jehan-
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AKC 231
" Yes ; both before and after tlie king entered."
" Does tbe queen go to SuUy ? "
" The queen goes, but Madeleine Paure does not."
Hatred of Sully that instant entered Pierre.
" I love her as if she were our Catherine, Pierrelo.
But put all thoughts of marriage out of your head
until France is better at ease."
" Since no marriage is made for me, how can I do
otherwise ? "
" I did my best for thee, Pierrelo, though it is a
marvel to me how men can desire to wed when they
have no country. But here in this court they think of
nothing but lute-playing and the talk of lovers. Are
there not enough starving families now in France with-
out founding more ? "
" Jehannette, in some ways you do not grow at all,
but remain a chUd."
" That part of me which does not grow is not needed,"
"But why does the demoiselle Paure remain here,
if the queen goes to SuUy ? " inquired Pierre, desiring
to find some excuse for remaining himself.
" She does not remain here. She goes to Loches,
where her family are about to celebrate her marriage."
Pierre turned sick. " Who is the man, Jehannette ? "
" Young Louis de Coutes ! " Jeanne smiled in the
face of his misery. " That froward lad, my page. But
he is of good family, as he himself assured me ; one
of the richest in Touraine, the demoiselle Agnes says,
and the king wUl early knight him for good services."
"Louis de Coutes! No wonder her family were
close-mouthed with the bridegroom's name. A boy
232 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC
—a scribe fellow that wrote yoiir letters and set down
your acconnts ! "
"He is mine own age, Pierrelo, and mnch older in
nobility than a chevalier called Du Lys."
" He shall not have her ! Doth she Uke this mar-
"I did not ask her," answered Jeanne, with such
candor that the miserable chevaher smUed.
" That insolent Louis de Coutes who drew sword
against Bertrand at St. Denis ! "
"Did he so?"
Pierre sent the whistling Domremy yes betwixt his
lips. "And Bertrand gave him the wound that has
kept him out of court this winter, while his family ar-
range for him this marriage. Louis de Coutes hath
despite against us."
" If it had not been Louis de Coutes, it had been
some other man not a peasant from the march of Lor-
raine. We could not hope that the favorite would
make any alliance with us. I have caused a letter to
be sent to Tours asking that five hundred livres tour-
nois be voted by the city to the marriage portion of
Messire Paure's daughter. He painted my banner.
It is the only reward I have ever asked for my services
to France, except the lifting of the tax from Domremy."
A candle in the chamber shone on Pierre, showing
his hardening face, which had matured since the wind
along the Meuse blew rings of hair over his forehead.
The tan of a military summer was cleared from his
lovable features by partial housing. A reckless look
sprang into his gray eyes.
" I wiU not care. It shall be nothing to me."
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 233
" Oh, Pierrelo, I wish we could go home ! "
Pierre gave her a sidewise glance. "But what
would we do in Domremy now, Jehannette ? For me,
it is my wish to go where La Hire and De XantraUles
and the Due d'Alengon are. I would see some more
Jeanne herself laughed eagerly. "Has Bertrand
m ade all our preparations for the journey to-morrow ? "
" He forgets nothing. I left him polishing your old
Pierre kissed his sister on both her cheeks, bade her
good night again, and turned to leave the palace.
A few torches were fastened along the stone walls,
overlaying with a new smear of blackness the breath
of past torches as chUl drafts of air flowed by. His
echoing steps brought him nearer the staircase, and
there Madeleine Power met him, running up from the
hall below. They both paused and looked at each
other, and Pierre knew she had come on purpose to
intercept him. He heard the music. A wave of color
carried the hardness from his face, and left it pliant
with all that a man cannot say. To see her so near
at hand was to be enthralled into forgetting what had
happened and what might come.
This demoiselle in court dress was more a woman
than the maid in her mother's old clothes at Loches,
or the peasant who carried water from St. Martin's
well. Pierre looked his last on her black eyes and
bright hair. Madeleine was made small and perfect
like an ivory miniature. A perfume sweet as linden
flowers went with her, conquering the rankness of the
234 THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'AEC
" Chevalier du Lys, I have something which belongs
to you, and I would not return it by any other hand
than my own."
Pierre felt the old palace strike cold through him as
he remembered the horse-money at Tours. There
were the coins showing through the silk netting of a
new purse. His voice and hands shook, but he made
a doubtful face over his examination of it.
" This does not belong to me, demoiselle."
" You have forgotten, but I have not. You dropped
a bag in my pannier at Tours. At first I thought it
was a miracle of the blessed St. Martin ; but when my
father heard about you he knew better."
" If St. Martin parted his cloak to a miserable beg-
gar, would he fail of gifts to pilgrims?"
" St. Martin gave only at need, chevalier. He knew
my mother's family would not let my father and me
" Do you want me to take this purse 1 "
" It is clear the money is yours."
" Then keep it as a peasant's offering to his lady's
Her face fell. She looked at the hilt of his sword.
"It is ungentle to remind me of marriage."
"I have been told that your marriage is soon to be
" There is much, chevalier, that I would like to ask
your advice about. My father said you were a man to
be trusted. But you have avoided me ever since you
came to court."
"Avoided you, demoiselle? I have watched for
you every day."
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AKC 235
" If you had watched for me you must have found
some way to show me kindness. I have no friend now,
chevalier. With the exception of the pucelle, there
is no woman I love at court, and I see her seldom.
No one in the world has need of me as my father
The innocent child who had walked with him into
St. Martin's cave, holding to his hand because the
place was dark, looked at him again through the eyes
of this maid of honor. He could hear his own heart
pounding, and the rival with whom her marriage was
to be celebrated passed out of his mind.
" Demoiselle Madeleine, I myself have such need of
you that I swear to be your bachelor for Hf e. Because
my proposals were thought unfit for you, that shall
make no difference with me."
"You made proposals for me, chevalier? When
did you make proposals ? " Her face was white and
haughty. It disturbed Pierre, but he answered with
" As soon as I was raised to a rank which made the
" My family refused them?"
" Your family refused them."
Madeleine heard her aunt De Beuil ascending the
staircase behind her on almost silent feet. She had ex-
pected to be followed as soon as she was missed. But
she looked at Pierre with a swift and silent and hope-
Long after she had been walked in disgrace to the
queen's apartments through IJie tunnel-Kke corridors
of the palace, he stood leaning against the wall, stupe-
236 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC
fled by unreasonable joy, and trying to recall the flasli
wMeli had fallen upon him.
His mind went no further than that look, and he
wrapped himself in the thought of it when he passed
out through the palace gates.
There were few lights in the close-built town, on
hillocks or iu vaUeys where roofs pressed together.
Pierre glanced up at the Eoman towers where Jacques
Coeur's new ch§,teau was to be founded. No wonder
the king loved Bourges. How pleasant and hospitable
was the province of Berri ! There had been a fore-
casting in his mind that, in spite of all drawbacks,
some good awaited him in Berri.
^IHE May afternoon was waning in Com-
pifegne. It had been a golden day for the
north provinces at that season of the year,
and the city was put in a joyful stir by
the coming of the pucelle. She had arrived at dawn,
with about five hundred men, from Cr^py, and entered
on the south side, unseen by the besiegers on the
north. Splendidly moimted and equipped, her saddle-
cloth made of cloth of gold, a crimson levite belted
over her armor, her standard displayed, she cantered
with her troops toward the bridge gate ; for it had been
concerted with the Captain of Compifegne that she
should strike and surprise the Burgundians at Margny
before the sun went down, cutting off the farther camp
of Clarois from the English at Venette.
It was not the first time the maid had been seen in
Compi^gne since Easter. In April, when English
captains were about to embark fresh troops for France,
they refused to go. "The witch is out again," they
declared to their angry ofilcers. " It is true she hath
not been seen in the north since autumn ; but soldiers
have this feeling only when she is afield." They de-
238 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC
serted in crowds. Beating and imprisonment liad no
effect on them. Only those wlio could not escape were
forced on board.
Then the Duke of Bedford heard the maid was ac-
tually at Melun, and had helped the inhabitants drive
out the English garrison. As swiftly, she was at
Lagny-sur-Marne, striking English marauders. She
had leaped again into the field, for there had never been
any truce with the iuvaders, and Charles's truce with
the Duke of Burgundy expired at Easter. The French
were renewing their struggle without the king. The
Bastard of Orleans, who had been made Count Dunois,
was pushing, with the Due d'Alengon, toward St.
Denis. At first it was told in terrified Paris that the
maid was coming to renew her attack. She certainly
attempted, both by Soissons and Pont-1'Eveque, to
break her way southward. But Compi^gne, the most
important town of northern Prance, often besieged and
harried by the invaders, holding fast to its loyalty, was
at this time threatened by both Burgundians and Eng-
lish. The French captains flocked to the maid. The
Duke of Bedford at once issued a proclamation against
soldiers and officers who should " be terrified by the
enchantments of this puceUe."
Her squire and the Chevalier du Lys, her brother,
knew with what force she had sprung into the field.
They rode alone with her out of Sully-sur-Loire with-
out the king's knowledge or consent, a few needful
things strapped behind their high saddle-backs. It
was a three-days' ride to Melun across rough country
and up the long ridge of Fontainebleau forest. Pierre
thought with hatred of Sully-sur-Loire, the most in-
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 239
hospitable place in France— a many-towered castle,
with pointed roofs, and curtains of stone, rising from
a river-like moat. It stood beside the Loire ; but how
dreary was the great river at Sully, running deep along
the high bank, and spreading far off in shallows, seem-
ing to cut France off from the north !
At SuUy, Pierre had watched day after day in vain
for Madeleine Power. The morning the court left
Bourges he was early afoot, determined to press his
suit again ; but a page wearing the De Beml livery came
to him with a message for the pucelle. The demoiselle
Power sent word that her marriage was to be post-
poned, and she was to join the court at Sully. So easy
was it for Pierre to believe what was told him that he
suspected no trick, until La Tr6mouille's insolent hos-
pitality, which made every mouthful of bread bitter,
forced the truth upon him. Madeleine Power was not
brought to Sully, and he heard no more of her. He
thought of dashing out by himself to Loches. But if
he were there, what had he to offer a demoiselle who
had merely looked at him ? Should he carry her off by
"Pierrelo," Jeanne once said to him, "do you re-
member the huge red snails around Bermont spring?
They must be creeping forth ; and aU the Meuse valley
is quickening with green. I cannot stay here idling
any longer, where we are not wanted, and so little time
remains to me."
" God he knoweth I have no stomach for this place,"
answered Pierre, " and less care what becomes of me
now, so I go free of it." What lonelier spot was there
in France than this old vUlage of worm-eaten carved
240 THE DATS OF JEANNE D'AEO
timbers, clustering around a feudal stronghold ? And
how delicious was the forest of Pontainebleau after
The second night the three riders came to a deep
oval valley in the forest, a vast cup of white and gray
rock. Sunset was behind as they descended into the
gorge, a pink flame mounting the sky sparkles upon
sparkles, the rosy smoke sweeping the zenith. And
when they had picked their way across, and ascended
to the opposite forest level, there, in sand as soft as
ashes, rock turned to dust without grain, stood ruined
walls which they knew to be the ancient abbey of
Franehard, to which a peasant had directed them as a
landmark. There was enough roof to shelter them for
the night. They heard the bubbHngs of nightingales ;
and near them were moss-crusted ehns dropping finger-
tips of branches almost to the ground, white-piUared,
forming cathedral naves in the forest; white birch,
pine, and oaks; hills and dales of springing fern.
Jeanne closed her eyes, thinkiag how near also was
Paris ; and Bertrand closed his, contented to be any-
where with her.
To Bertrand this was the happy spring of his life.
He felt riding to heaven alone with her, for Pierre was
moody, and lagged. She had grown so accustomed to
his tendance that there was communion between them
without talk. He had her to himself, depending on his
presence, whUe the English began to feel the coming ter-
ror. She told him before she told Pierre that her voices
had warned her she was to be taken prisoner before St.
John's day. Always reticent in speaking about this
unseen counsel, she sometimes turned a startled face
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 241
toward Bertrand as they rode. Her lips parted ; her
lifted eyes filled with light. He held his breath.
This twenty-third day of May in Compi^gne his near-
ness to her was incredibly crowned. Jeanne and Pierre
and Bertrand took the sacrament in the church of St.
Jacques at the morning mass, kneeling in the fifth
small chapel from the entrance, on the right-hand side
of the church. As they passed into the aisle it hap-
pened that the bells began to chime. Bertrand and
Jeanne both lifted their faces. Did he hear a faint
tone of some unearthly voice— a sweet, still articida-
tion under the clamor ?
Jeanne leaned, pallid, against a piUar opposite the
chapel. The paneled and flower-carven wood, support-
ing shorter stone pillars near the clerestory, threw her
face into relief. At once the early worshipers in St.
Jacques's church drew toward her smiling, and some
of them secretly touched her. Bertrand had seen her
stand godmother to many a baby during her cam-
paigns, and every boy that she held was christened
Charles, for the king.
" My friends," spoke out Jeanne, " I am soon to be
taken and sold into captivity, and then I can never
again have it in my power to help France and the king.
Pray for me."
Bertrand remembered what awe struck through the
listening faces. But the people of Compifegne could
not think of such forecasting when the pucelle rode out
to make her attack on Margny.
" Did you know," Bertrand inquired, as he helped her
mount, " this Captain of Compifegne was appointed to
his post by favor of La Tr6mouille ? "
242 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC
The maid looked startled at her squire. " No, I did
not. But for the honor of France he is bound to sup-
port us in this saUy. En nom D6, if I thought I should
be taken at this time I would not go out. God grant
I may perish when I am taken, for it is far easier to
trust my soul to him than my body to the English.
But St. Jean's day is a month distant, and we must do
all we can."
Poton de XantraiHes rode beside her, and the setting
sun shone on the left side of their faces as they gal-
loped over the lowered drawbridge and the rosy Oise,
where archers were taking to boats to support the at-
tack from the river.
The Oise flows southwestward, and Compifegne is on
the left bank. A fortified bridge then joined it to the
northeast shore, where defensive works were further
guarded by a deep f oss. Over this a stationary bridge
was built, and it seemed the entrance to a high cause-
way stretching across the marshy meadows. In the
north, bounding the wet land, was a low range of hiUs.
Straight ahead, beyond the causeway, could be seen
the church tower of Margny, a third of a league from
Compifegne, and there lay the Burgundian camp she
meant to strike. Beyond that, and at twice the dis-
tance, was Clairoix, the second Burgundian camp, which
she meant, by this quick blow at an unexpected hour,
to cut off from the English camp at Venette, a half-
league to the west of her route.
The archers in the boats saluted the pucelle as the
armor of her troops flashed across the Oise bridge.
Five hundred strong, the attacking party took at speed
the long line of the causeway. A little lower and a
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 243
little ruddier,' the level-lying sun touclied the walls of
Compifegne and the great forest lying behind them. It
promised to be a pleasant May twilight, clear and fair.
The waiting bowmen laughed and talked to one an-
other, even after the noise of combat reached them
from Margny. The puceUe would doubtless bring in
many prisoners. The Duke of Burgundy was himself
said to be at Clairoix, and a surprised duke would he
be when he found himself suddenly cut off from his
allies at Venette. .
People on the walls of Compifegne could see what the
archers at the river level could not see. Venette was
aroused by the clamor in Margny. English troops
were streaming out to attack the French rear. Gun-
ners on the walls made haste to train cannon which
they dared not Are, and the silenced archers in the boats
made ready shafts which they dare not discharge. For
back came French and English together, pell-meU,
crowding the causeway, pushed off into the marsh, a
fighting, struggling mass, the Burgundians of Margny
pressing behind; and the Captain of Compi^gne did
The archers, unable to shoot without wounding their
friends, gathered refugees into the boats. Alarm-bells
were rung in the city ; men and women ran to the open
gates. The puceUe and her body-guard could be seen
covering the rear of her panic-stricken troops. Now
she rode back and lashed the pursuers, and now she
turned to rally her own soldiers. Her brother and her
squire and De XantraDles, the one captain who never
left her, pressing around her, fought with desperate
courage. Shouts and the clang of weapons seemed to
244 THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'AEC
fill that little sunset world. The entrance to the Oise
bridge was wedged with struggling bodies, and horses
trampled their own dying riders. The puceEe, when
she could no longer cover her troops, conspicuous in
her crimson garment, was seen to make a dash for
the marshes. Surrounded by Burgundians, she was
dragged from her plunging horse by her robe, and yeUs
upon yells of triumph drowned the noise of battle. The
pucelle was taken ! It would be shouted long after
nightfall at Clairoix by drunken soldiers, and repeated
with joyful derision from camp to camp. The witch
was caught. Trumpets which usually called to arms
shrieked discordant fanfares over this great prisoner.
Captains taken with her counted as nothing; they
might easily ransom themselves. But the witch of the
Armagnacs, worth more than the ransom of a king, —
the terror of England,— was at last a captive, dragged
off to the Burgundian camp. The Duke of Burgundy
would that very hour send out despatches bearing the
news to the regent and aU Christendom.
Men and women of Compifegne ran struggling across
the Oise bridge, as the mob of soldiers cleared away,
to fall with any weapon on the rear of their retreating
foes. "What did English and Burgundians care at that
moment for Compifegne ? They had done enough that
great day. The inspired maid was taken ! .
It was four days afterward that Jeanne turned in
her saddle to watch that dear town of Compifegne grow
less in the distance, as she rode among her captors
northward along the course of the Oise. A score of
men-at-arms guarded her, and wherever a device ap-
peared on their housings, it was the rampant two-tailed
THE DATS OP JEANNE D'AEC 245
lion of Burgundy. Wooded hills lay along the horizon
at their left, and at their right, in the low ground,
flowed the pleasant Oise.
Jeanne could not speak to her squire, for he was held
in charge by troopers at the rear ; but she took comfort
from the thought, " We are prisoners to the Burgun-
dians, not to the English. While the Lord of Luxem-
bourg, a vassal of the Duke of Burgundy, holds us to
ransom, it might be worse with us."
Pierre and De Xantrailles were yet in the camp at
Clairois, lightly wounded. She hoped she was not go-
ing far from them ; but late in the day the cavalcade
passed Noyon, winding among the path-like streets of
the ancient gray town. Huge white oxen, yoked by
the horns in many pairs, were crowded to the walls to
let them go by. The people of Noyon ran to look at
the captive puceUe paraded to their sight ; and some
were sorrowful, while others, having it in mind to stand
well with Burgundy, shouted as she rode with her head
bowed. Charlemagne had been crowned in Noyon.
Bertrand noticed with dull attention the carved
beam-ends and oaken cross-pieces in house-fronts, and
the little leaded windows. Beyond Noyon he made a
landmark of every windmill standing with spread arms
against the fading sky. Neither Jeanne nor he had
given their parole not to escape ; but there was small
hope of escape. Both were mounted on poor horses,
the refuse of the camp.
The moist May night closed over half -desolate fields
as they turned westward into a path lined with no vil-
lages and no lights. Remote and lonely exQe waited
behind unknown horizons. It grew chill, and the jaded
246 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC
horses lagged until they heard the barking of a dog.
A cluster of houses where no fires burned skirted the
way. Then a moat showed its livid water on the right
hand, as the party mounted a short ascent and turned
into an orchard.
"What place is this?" inquired Bertrand of his
" This is the tower of Beaulieu."
" I see no tower."
But as they drew nearer to a drawbridge he saw its
low top against the sky. It was a round tower of brick,
at one end of a long dusky ch&teau. The only lights
came through two south windows of this tower. The
cavalcade called impatient curses on the keeper before
the gates were opened. Bertrand noticed, as they rode
across the lowered drawbridge, which came down creak-
ing on its unused chains to meet them, an oblong hole
in the bricks, about three feet above the water in the
moat, made noticeable by shine reflected from a wall
One old man held up a candle in the brick-paved
court, where the horses were crowded against one an-
other, so near was the opposite wall, and he smiled
without teeth at the liberal abuse he received as he
locked the gates under the archway again.
Thought Bertrand, " This does not seem a strong
"Now, Messire d'Aulon," said the captain of the
escort, using the name which Bertrand had given at
his capture, "you wiU do your last service to the maid,
and disarm her."
The servants of the party led away the horses.
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ABC 247
Jeanne was already in the tower, and her squire fol-
lowed her. She had been stripped in camp of her
crimson levite, her courser, and cloth-of-gold saddle-
housings, but the Lord of Luxembourg, her captor,
had allowed her to remain in her armor, according to
her custom among men in the field.
Many spurs jingled on the paved floor, and as soon
as the jailer had turned a huge key behind the pris-
oner, her escort, taking candles, and bidding him bring
them firing and supper in fewer minutes than it had
required to open the gates, trooped through another
door into the chateau.
Opposite this door in the tower was a high, shallow
fireplace with an oven beside it. On the pot-hanger
hung a seething kettle. The lazy blaze and the old
man's candle showed brown timbers and many cross-
pieces hung with cobwebs overhead, flooring the con-
cave of the tower, and roofing the circular walls. A
table, a bench, a kind of lair which could not be called
a bed, and some cooking- vessels, were all the furniture.
Jeanne stood spreading her hands before the blaze
while Bertrand knelt to unbuckle her mail. Her supple
body drooped. He did not let himself say, " This is
the last time I shall take off her harness," but his fin-
gers fondled every strap. The cleft between her lower
lip and chin seemed more deeply indented than ever,
and her eyes were weary. She was recalling the dark
face and broad-tipped nose of Philip of Burgundy, sur-
named the Good, whom her king in youth had offended
with deadly offense. Her usual distrust of him, which
the magnificent man in black velvet had courteously
shaken by a few words of pride in her,— being French
248 THE DATS OF JEANNE D'AEC
himself, and unable to repress tlieni, — had begun to
revive. She was prisoner to Burgundy's vassal; but
would he stand between her and the English?
The old man, trotting from side to side of the tower,
paused with his back and hands laden as Bertrand said
to him sternly :
" Before you carry fire or food to rough men-at-arms,
your duty is to the pucelle. For this unmannerly
treatment of such a prisoner your Lord of Luxem-
bourg will hold you to account."
Opening and shutting his mouth with indecision,
the jailer put down his loads, and dipped broth from
his kettle, and put wine and bread on the table, taking
them from a kind of buttery within the ch&teau door.
He pacified with high-pitched voice impatient calls for
his service ringing through empty rooms beyond.
" Where is the pucelle to lodge ? " asked the squire,
laying down the last piece of her armor.
The old man beckoned, and trotted with his candle
down three steps at the left side of the chimney, Jeanne
and Bertrand following. He thrust the light beside
an iron-clamped oaken door over three steps at right
angles to the first descent, showing behind the fire-
place a vaulted cell, about sis feet high and nine feet
long and less than three feet wide. They could hear
the lapping of the moat through that slit in the wall
which Bertrand had noticed as he crossed the draw-
bridge, and which let in aU the air a prisoner could
hope for when the door was shut and locked. The
floor was stone. The farther end of the cell was con-
" I have lain hard many a time," said Jeanne, laugh-
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 249
ing, "but never before was I put to sleep in a
" The pucelle is not to be lodged in this dungeon ? "
Her keeper nodded.
" Let me lie here," entreated Bertrand. " There must
be better places in a ch&teau for a noble maid."
"You, messire?" chuckled the old man. "Who
cares to hold you 1 That is simply a matter of ransom
between you and your captor. But this is the witch
of the Armagnacs."
" Have you no fear of her ? "
The jailer shook his head hardily. "I am a Chris-
" I have known men who called themselves so, yet
they durst not move hand or foot when they would
approach her," whispered the squire at the old man's
ear as he ascended the steps behind that disturbed ser-
The men-at-arms were by this time clamoring in
such wrath that he seized his loads again and ran
through the chateau rooms.
" Quick ! " whispered Bertrand, holding the bowl of
broth to Jeanne. She understood him, and swallowed.
He put some pieces of bread in his pouch while she
drank. The jailer's steps had not passed out of hear-
ing, on resounding floors within, when both prisoners
were outside, locking the door behind them.
They turned toward the front of the ch§,teau, for
there seemed no way except this. So habitually had
Jeanne let herself be guided by others, siuce the warn-
ing of capture had followed her, that she took no
thought but Bertrand's, and stooped as he did, running
250 THK DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC
under the windows. Damp greenness, gathered on the
outlines of old bricks, came to their nostrils. A wall
bounded them on the left, and it turned at right angles
on a walk which led to a gate at the top of a terrace.
The gate was fast, but it was low, and both scrambled
over it. A high balustrade of brick with a coping of
stone guarded one side of the stairs ; a wall guarded
They were feeling their way downward into the
moist darkness when Bertrand turned and caught
Jeanne's hands. He saw the dim guards below, but
they had also seen him. Shouts of warders, oaths,
and the rattle of swords leaping from scabbards drove
them back over the gate. The front of the ch&teau
flashed with candles, and men dropped from the low
The prisoners, grasped by many hands, faced each
other in one look before they were separated. All
Bertrand's patience and faithfulness and self-restraint,
and his sjonpathy like a discerning god's, the maid
owned and blessed as she lost them. The dungeon
closed upon her. She heard no sound but the lapping
of the moat.
i[HE Old "World's reek, a stench left by death
and ignorance and sndden flight, met a
party of knights and men-at-arms at the
entrance of a village. Coney Castle conld
yet be seen in the wooded world behind them. The
village was empty, and as silent as the withered bush
hanging in front of what had been the wine-shop. No
dog barked at the cavalcade, and the late afternoon
sun probed desolate houses through the open doors.
But deserted villages were common in northern France.
This one was intersected by a road coming from the
west, and at its junction with the road from Coucy
the men drew rein and screened themselves by the
church wall. Two archers dismounted, and went along
the bending street, stooping to examine marks in the
" English," said one of them, pointing with his bow
end at many hoof-prints having a triangular shape.
Horseshoes made in France were round, but the Eng-
lish horseshoes had a broader base of iron, forming a
triangle in the center.
" Here be the tracks left by Messire du Lys's troop,"
252 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC
said the other archer, and they went back with their
Both captains pushed up their pointed vizors, show-
ing disturbed faces. " By my baton," swore the broad-
backed knight, " if the pnceUe's guards have escaped
us, Poton, La Hire will curse thee as no fit man to lead
" What have these shoe-prints to do with the puceUe's
guards ? " returned De XantraiUes. " Her guards are
Burgundians, the vassals of Luxembourg. Mounted
on English-shod coursers they may be ; but by this
token there is more than one troop to meet, and the
Chevalier du Lys will find himself hard pressed on the
" What certain information have you that the pu-
ceUe is to be removed from Beaulieu tower at this
" It is not a far cry from Beaulieu to Coucy. The
place hath been watched for me nearly three months,
and I know that Luxembourg is about to carry her to
his ch&teau of Beaurevoir in the north. It hath a
strong high tower. If you had come to my help sooner
we might have broken into Beaulieu."
" Come to thy help sooner ? Had not La Hire enough
to do to hold his own town of Louviers, in the very
teeth of Rouen, where the English have their strong-
" And not a coin didst thou send to my ransom,"
continued De Xantrailles, his wrath gathering. " By
hardship did I get free, for I never made myself rich
with pillage, and the country is destroyed, as thou dost
see, around Coucy. The pueelle's ransom I could not
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ABC 2B3
pay, but I sent a messenger at once to the king show-
ing her state. It was only this month that I was
able to exchange some prisoners I had taken for her
brother and her squire ; and they added the churchman,
Brother Pasquerel, her confessor, who, since he is also
ordained to priestly offices, my mother hath employed
at Coucy. By St. Martin, I have been too poor this
summer to pay for mass and candles."
" Is La Hire rich himself ? In running this venture
he hath scarce a coin in his strong box stored against
need. And Louviers is a slippery holding, while Coucy
is impregnable, only to be taken by surprise. And
against aU counsel thou didst leave it open to surprise,
with so few warders, when we rode away."
"Since Compifegne I have few warders to leave.
By St. Martin, I cannot make men-at-arms."
"And if thou couldst, they were better patterned
on another than thyseK."
"I wish I had the making of thee over," said De
Xantrailles, savagely. "I would not use a damned
atom of thy old substance."
La Hire sat stiff, a head and shoulders below his
friend, and glared at De XantraiUes.
"What hath La Hire ever seen in Poton de Xan-
traiUes to love ? "
"A weU-made man, one able to sit down without
holding a great lapful of bowels."
" Well made, thou sayest 1 Can a man caU himself
well made who knows not himger from the back-
Having reached this pitch of disagreement, both
knights laughed in the hollows of their casques. Their
254 THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'AEC
retinues, accustomed to the pair, kept guard, and
watched around the church wall for the approach of
" Where is the young Chevalier du Lys, that he was
not left in charge of Coucy ? "
"Have I not told thee many times I sent him out
with part of my retinue to watch the northern road
from Beaulieu, while we take the southern ? "
" If La Hire had reached Coucy in time, that had
been better ordered."
" Who made thee captain over me, fitienne de Vig-
" God Almighty," shouted La Hire, standing up in
his stirrups. " He gave thee length of legs and arms,
but no head ; for saith he to himself, ' The fool wiU
lose it. Let us make it a separate member, and call
it La Hire.'"
" Fat-witted I was never called before," sneered Po-
ton de Xantrailles. " It doth cut me to the heart."
" Whoever doth cut thee to the heart will find no
blood on his knife," retorted La Hire. "Where is
Bertrand de Poulengy ? Did you send the squire also
with the chevalier?"
" Since I must read you the tale of aU my men, Ber-
trand de Poulengy hath been my spy on Beaulieu since
he came to Coucy, and it is he that I now expect to
give me warning of the maid's approach. He hath a
good horse under him."
" That was not iU planned."
" God be praised," said Poton de XantraiUes, " that
one device at least was not iU planned."
" Yea ; amen ; though La Hire dreads winning by
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC 255
this ride a bed that will cool him after the fever in
" In God's name, if you were laid low with a fever,
La Hire, why have you let me accuse you ? "
"To ease thee, Poton, to ease thee. It was the
wound taken with Louviers. AU flesh is not the flesh
of the pucelle, that closes in four or five days."
" Well, then, a truce to words between us. It put
me in a rage to ride alone, when we have fought elbow
to elbow so long."
" Snt La Hire's tongue if he has offended thee, Poton.
Thou art the bride and the son of a ruffian, but the
ruffian loves thee."
" I am but half a knight without you," acknowledged
De XantraiUes. " If you had been at Compifegne the
puceUe had not been taken."
" La Hire is no amulet to keep off evil ; but what-
ever befalls at Coucy, his hand is in thine."
They embraced each other as well as they could in
armor and on horseback, and swore that this should
be their first and last tUt with words. Their retinues,
who had heard many first and last tilts with words,
smiled idly, and pulled leaves to chew, or struck at
floating mosquitos. The horses moved restless feet,
for time was passing ; and the sun shone horizontally
across the village, throwing longer shadows with the
stone houses on unplanted fields.
Its light dazzled the men's eyes, and they drew their
lids together, watching through slits for the cavalcade
on which they intended to pounce. Some of them had
ridden with their masters to Rheims, and they remem-
bered the pucelle's compassion on the French prisoners
256 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC
at Troyes. She would not permit the English garri-
son to carry them away. So intently had the waiting
troops fixed their minds on the west that clashing arms
and a whirlwind of pursuit through the crooked north-
ern street took them unawares.
The Chevalier du Lys came into sight, fighting and
flying with a handful of men before a full retinue of
English. La Hire saw with rage that there was a con-
certed ambush ; for behind, on the Coucy road, gal-
loped another company of English.
It was the evening-time when maids drove in their
geese and peasants with laden panniers appeared from
the fields. This untenanted vUlage, this graveyard of
the people, was filled with a brief resurrection ; but it
was the life of war— battle-cries, the scream of slaugh-
tered horses, the encounter, ax to ax, sword to sword,
club against club. Coucy had been taken by surprise,
and the French were surrounded. At dusk victors and
prisoners, all who were not left to increase the breath
of pestilence among empty stone houses, moved up the
ascent to Coucy Castle. An English warder raised the
portcullis and let down the drawbridge.
So sudden and ruinous had been the result of this
sortie that Pierre beheld the facts around him with
slow receptiveness, a peasant's inability to compass the
unusual returning upon him. He saw La Hire and De
Xantrailles led to the dungeons— Jeanne's two friends
—the only friends of all her thousands who had made
any attempt to rescue her. And he heard De Xan-
traiHes's mother weeping aloud among her women.
And Coucy, the great seat of the Duke of Orleans,
vaster and more beautiful than any other feudal hold
THE DAYS 03? JEANNE D'AEC 267
in the dismembered kingdom, full of sucli gathered
art in marble and paintings as comforted men who
had little to live for, a palace suited with everything
known as luxury, a fortress proof against assault, had
fallen into the hands of the English.
Pierre's captors began to strip off his armor in the
court. There were many of them, talking English and
Franco-Norman, and the hubbub calmed him. They
seemed to have many prisoners, and to have swept
much country in every direction around Coucy. Free
companions were among these regular troops ; he saw
faces scowling at him that he traced slowly back to
Lagny-sur-Marne, where Jeanne had dealt with Eng-
He stood with the great round tower behind him, and
was glad of the open night sky and cool August night
air. The underground dungeons at Coucy were deep.
Yet torches continued to spin about the court, and he
was guarded, and not housed as the knights had been.
A hand gentler than the hands that had stripped him
touched his arm, and there stood Brother Pasquerel,
fixing dark eyes of pity on him.
" "We have added prisoners to the English instead
of taking any from them. Brother Pasquerel," said
the chevalier. His desperate laugh made the monk
sadder. " What wiU become of my sister now ? "
" Think now of thine own salvation, my son. The
hour has come."
" What do they intend to do with me ? "
Pierre felt the embarrassment of not being able to
take the churchman seriously. He said to himself,
" I am to die " ; but that seemed to matter very little.
258 THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'ABC
He knew notliiag of death, though he faced it every
day ; but that it had arrived gave the moment a sting-
ing novelty, and nothing more.
" The free companions in this troop are permitted
to take revenge on you for the man who was turned
over to justice at Lagny-sur-Marne," said the monk.
" Do you understand their words, Brother Pasque-
" I understand their intentions. But they brought
in an illustrious prisoner, who now waits in the chapel
for ransom, and he knows their tongue and has told
me what they say. The Archbishop of Rheims, jour-
neying from Bourges to his own diocese, hath been
molested by these lawless companions."
" The Archbishop of Rheims," said Pierre, " wUl find
ransom an easy matter to arrange with his friends the
English. If I were brother to Messire La Tr6mouille
my head would be fast enough on my shoulders."
A firm-set head it looked, his undergarment being
stripped to the waist, showing the round neck and
young pink brawn of the torso.
" You confessed to me this morning, my son," said
Brother Pasquerel, as Pierre's elbows were grasped by
his executioners; and the young man had a solemn
sense of prayers in his ears as he walked across the
court. At the foot of a flight of stone steps leading
from one of the towers was a stone block which the
knights of Coucy had used in mounting their coursers.
Beside it stood the free companion who was to act as
headsman, his sleeves turned well back, and a ferocious
readiness in his face. His mighty battle-ax would
have beheaded a bull.
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARO 259
Pierre looked up at the filmy sky and all around
Mm, feeling that he had neglected giving to the world
aU the attention it deserved. This was death— this
coming withdrawal from things. He felt already far
away, but neither afraid nor regretful. He thought
of Jeanne, and of one other, and that reminded him
of saying a prayer, which he whispered, his young
features placid as marble, having its fine heroic grain.
Brother Pasquerel had absolved many a dying man in
the pueelle's first campaign, and in her last, to which
he had followed her from Tours. But absolving the
dying was an easy religious task compared with seeing
the life struck brutally out of this young chevalier
whom he loved. He had been from man to man, plead-
ing against the slaughter with imploring gestures,—
forthe language of the victors he could not speak,— and
they pushed him out of their way. The Archbishop
of Rheims had taken sanctuary, with his frightened
retinue, in the chapel, and Brother Pasquerel had
despairingly asked his intercession, receiving an im-
patient reply from a prisoner who felt little interest in
the pucelle or her relations.
" The puceUe hath been taken in her stubborn pride,"
said the archbishop. " She would not listen to counsel,
and it is a just judgment that hath fallen upon her. As
for this chevalier, I have no power to help him, being
hindered on mine own journey, with all these poor
people. If Poton de Xantrailles had guarded his own,
and left the pucelle and her family to their devices,
he could have given me better welcome in Coucy."
Torches showed the intent and savage faces of their
bearers gathered around the stone horse-block. Pierre
260 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC
was forced to his knees. His arms were tied behind
his back, and on his naked breast from armpit to nipple
was ridged a clean red scar. The headsman spat upon
both pahns with a zest of anticipation, and Pierre
heard the friar's shaking voice, like a distant humming
of bees, as it went on with its office. He looked at
the stone, and thought he would stretch his neck well
across the hoUow worn by feet. And then he felt his
head seized by arms, and squeezed against the yield-
ing bosom of a woman, and her draperies around his
naked shoulders and over him. Thus shut in and
stifled by heavenly odors like linden flowers, he could
hear nothing but her heart and the rush of her breath.
His own pulses boomed. Oh, this was dying— to
have all he desired in life encompassing him as his
head was about to drop ! Though Pierre knew his
state was fixed, he laughed under Madeleine Power's
cloak, exulting over the English, and La TremouiUe,
and the Archbishop of Rheims. It is better to die in
the full flower of Joy and effort than to linger even a
The headsman rested his ax on the stone, for he saw
there would be a controversy with this woman ; and
the Archbishop of Rheims, in wrath, pushed through
the circle to reach his niece. If these favored prison-
ers had been shut in a tower before the execution
began, much trouble would have been saved. Yet the
new Captain of Coucy, and all his men, admired her,
standing her ground in a whii-lpool of three languages.
For every man in the fortress had somewhere a woman
in whose arms he secretly longed, yet scarcely hoped,
to lay his head in his last hour. Ravaging and killing
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AKC 261
was their trade ; yet a woman might have her way
with them, as it had been since the creation, and par-
ticularly since Mary the Virgin had been lifted like a
lily over Christendom.
"This man is my betrothed husband," declared
Madeleine in English. "I claim his life."
" Shame upon you ! " spoke her uncle the archbishop
at her ear.
" Let her prove it ! " shouted some of the torch-
bearers, accustomed in their own country to the en-
croachments of monastic brethren on the offices of
priests. " Here is the friar— let him marry them."
" Hold your base tongues," said the new Captain of
Coucy. " This demoiselle is niece to his lordship of
Eheims, and to the little king's chancellor. She is
not to be wedded for a show to men-at-arms."
" Off with his head, then ! There be plenty of better
men to comfort the demoiselle."
" He goes to the dungeon for ransom," decided the
captain. " A brother of the puceUe, and nephew of
the chancellor to the little King of Bourges, should
bring good ransom."
" Franquet d' Arras was handed over by the pueelle
to be beheaded at Lagny," was grumbled xmder the
smoky glare of torches.
" Stand forth, you free riders who are not satisfied
with the government of Coucy," cried the captain,
wheeling in his place. " By St. G-eorge, there be cells
enough under this rock for all of you ! To the dim-
geon with this man, and with every free rider that
hath aught to say further about Franquet d' Arras."
Pierre's arms were released. He stood up dazzled in
262 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ABC
the torcli-liglit, and took Madeleine openly into them ;
and the archbishop withdrew from the court, leaving
her to her own devices. It had not been at his desire
that this half-Scot was thrust on him for discipline.
He sent her frightened waiting-woman after her— a
middle-aged maid, who walked close to the black skirts
of Brother Pasquerel.
Chinon was like a large inclosed garden ; but Coucy
was a perfect feudal castle, with central court and
massive ancient round towers. The prisoner and
Madeleine followed the jailer and his torch down a
winding stone staircase. So close were the circular
descending walls that Brother Pasquerel and the at-
tendant and a warder following them found the dan-
gerous stone footing scarcely wide enough for one ;
but they were not borne up by angels. Pierre and
Madeleine walked side by side, and his naked guard-
ing arm grazed the rock. He thought of Bertrand,
free, outside of Coucy, and felt sorry for poor Bertrand.
They reached the first underground floor before they
remembered that they were forgetting to talk, and
this separation might last for years.
" Come on," urged the keeper, waiting below, and
lifting his flambeau in the darkness. " We go down
to the prisons beneath."
" Oh ! " said Pierre and Madeleine, both drawing a
breath of relief. There would be another flight of
heavenly stairs, though the dungeon door waited like
the grave at its foot. At this stage of their journey
Madeleine put her arm around Pierre. She slipped
into his hand and closed his fingers upon what had
now become their love-token, the small purse of coin,
the price of Jacques d' Arc's horse in Tours. France
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 263
was an impoverished country, yet hoarded money, an
nnspent treasure, thus passed from hand to hand.
The germ of home went hid therein. Pierre forecast,
with the happy certainty which brought good things
to him, all the future to grow out of that seed. He
saw the fair white-towered ch§,teau he afterward built
in Orleans, and the worship there given to this woman,
his wife, and to his mother, the mother of the pucelle.
For the fii'st time he thought of Jehannette without a
rush of anguish.
" At Bourges I could not see you," said Pierre, im-
plying how much better it had befallen him at Coucy.
" At Bourges I began to think of you instead of my
father," revealed Madeleiue.
Then he remembered there was such a person as
Louis de Coutes, and inquired, as if such a tie would
be of trivial importance compared with this exag-
" They did not celebrate your marriage after you
"No," answered Madeleine, also slighting the sub-
ject ; and she added in simple explanation :
" I will never have any husband but you."
" I will never have any wife but you."
" Here is your ceU, messire," spoke the jailer below.
Pierre and Madeleine clung together, and kissed
each other with their first kiss at parting. The gar-
ments which had been stripped from Pierre were tossed
into the dungeon by his keeper. Not a glint of day-
light would ever penetrate to this depth under Coucy.
Once more, and yet once more, they kissed each other,
and he went smiling alone to the chain whiqh his
jailer clanked beside the wall.
ilHE lethargy which fell on France during
the year Jeanne d'Arc lay in prison was
like the suUenness of a beast that has been
goaded to its last effort. The momentum
she had given to war being withdrawn, the struggle
ceased. Yet at that very time the tide turned at Or-
leans was running out toward Britain, carrying the
invaders with it.
From Beaurevoir, along northern provinces to the
sea, her journey of captivity had been watched with
tears. When she descended the coast, and Rouen
Castle inclosed her, the English held her by purchase
from the Burgundians. And France slept on nearly
a quarter of a century before rousing to demand what
had been done, in the name of law, with its maid at
the end of that year's imprisonment.
Other nations took knowledge that a puceUe— " of
such high chivalry," says a chronicler, " that there was
no knight in Christendom whose fame overshadowed
hers "—was on trial among her enemies ; that she was
put ^u a cage in the tower of Rouen Castle, chained
THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'ARC 265
"witli three chains, lier feet manacled to a log of wood
at night, and common soldiers occupied the room with
a maid who had veiled the life of her body from man ;
that in Eouen, the real capital of English France, it
was believed the English would never have any suc-
cess in arms while she lived.
So low had war-ridden and dismembered France
sunk that not only was French money paid by the
English purchasers of the pueeUe, but French men
were f oujad, in a corner of the realm, willing to condemn
her for the English. Pierre Cauchon, the Count-Bishop
of Beauvais, who had resented some horse-dealings of
her household, and all of the power so young a crea-
ture had acquired over armies, made himself her judge,
because she was taken in his diocese, and allowed her
no covmsel for defense. If the king had moved in her
favor he might have had her tried at Rome, or B^e,
where a religious conference was then in progress.
She was accused of iatendiug to settle the claims of
the three quarreling popes.
Only one lawyer of Paris had the courage to declare
her trial illegal from beginniag to end, and he was
obliged to leave Rouen in haste, and betake himself to
a place where he would be safer.
The Inquisition and the University of Paris were
ordered to appear in the case against her; but not
even a priest was permitted to speak for her.
When Jeanne was at Beaurevoir, there was a tale
told that she fell from the high tower, and was taken
up for dead, in her frenzied attempt to escape and go
back to the help of Compifegne. But it is not recorded
that Orleans or Compi^gne, or any other town, of-
266 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC
f ered anything but processions and prayers for lier
The Archbishop of Rheims issued from his part of
the realm a comforting letter to his flock, assuring
them that the maid had been abandoned as an instru-
ment of heaven, but they might count on the shepherd
boy from the mountains.
In Bourges and Sully the winter was merry with
cards and lute-playing. There the maid, when any
one thought of her, was blamed for leaving court and
throwing herself into danger. Perhaps Queen Yo-
lande, and of a certainty Agnes Sorel, moved for her
ransom. But meanness bred of long poverty held
back, and the English neither held back nor hesitated
to tax France for the money.
La Hire and De Xantrailles and her brother were in
prison. But where were the young Due d'Alengon,
the Bastard of Orleans, and all those fair captains who
had followed her banner to victory ?
Seventy accusations, finally reduced to twelve Latin
articles, were brought against the prisoner, chief of
which were wearing man's clothes, leading troops to
battle, pretending to have heavenly voices, blasphemy,
and witchcraft. Only six public sessions were held,
but the trial with closed doors dragged daily from
February until nearly the end of May. An emaciated,
fetter- worn maid, not yet nineteen years old, tormented
by endless cunning questions, was diiven to recite
such matters as her secret prayer before the court:
" Very tender God, in honor of your holy passion, I
pray you, if you love me, that you wUl reveal to me
how I ought to answer these churchmen, I know well)
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 267
as to this habit, the commandment why I took it, but
I do not know in what manner I ought to leave it oif .
Be pleased, therefore, to teach me."
Or she was taunted about those voices of whom she
had spoken only when necessary in her life. Or she
was lured to confess sorcery in her victories, and an-
swered indignantly : " En nom I>6, 1 did nothing but
teU the men to go in boldly, and I went in myself ;
and I think it would be a good thing for France if I
did now as I did before. Why do not the English
quit France, and begone into their own country 1 "
In Domremy the people waited some dreadful event.
But Choux enjoyed the May sunshiae in front of the
Widow Davide's wine-shop. He resorted there because
he had long been forbidden to come nearer her door
than the boundary of the manure-heap. When Choux
encroached beyond that stone line, the Widow Davide
made a sally with water, which usually struck him in
the face, and gave him his only experience of it. With
his woolen cap-strings dripping, he slapped his breast,
and danced before his enemy.
" Does the Widow Davide think she can drown me ?
It is not permitted. Come out and drag me again to
the Meuse, Widow Davide ! "
" Have a care, or it shall yet be done, thou foul sor-
cerer," threatened the Widow Davide. "Thou art
spared for Jehannette d'Arc's sake, because she hath
taken the tax off Domremy and Greux."
"Things go better with me than with Jehannette
d'Arc. Regard me ! I have had a voice above two
years, and I am not put in prison. I am indeed the
flower of the Meuse vaUey."
268 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC
" Shut the door against him, Hamnette," said the
Widow Davide to her daughter. " He will vaunt him-
self until poor Jacques d'Arc overhears his words.
The D'Arcs may be ennobled, and Jehannette may-
have been a great general riding with the king ; but
Jacques d'Arc sits a broken-hearted man, and she is a
prisoner. I see not that the D'Arcs are better off than
I am. And I bore much scandal from thy roving
summer, and the child that Aveline Laxart found by
miracle in the church of Bury-la-C6te and killed by
over-nursing. Since she hath found one of her own
this year without miracle, and can rest her tongue con-
cerning St. Catherine and that other, it may die out of
memory. But I see not that the D'Arcs, with two
children laid in English prisons, are better off than I
Haumette herself, gazing with chastened black eyes
along Domremy street, and across the interval to
Greux, knew as her mother did not that hush of sus-
pense, that martyr-worship of the maid's family, which
hung over the villages. The greatness that had flashed
upon her, and struck her for her sin, and repented the
blow in one agonized look of memory and tenderness,
was stamped on Haumette forever. She was not sorry
about the child in Bury-la-C6te, there being no ma-
ternity in her. But she repented with many prayers
every day on her knees that she had been unfit for the
touch of Jeanne d' Arc's sword.
In the May weather Mengette had the sense of some
divine, terrible presence on the hills, as she led her
geese out early. She looked down at the church,
thinking fearfully of St. Michael. If Isabel had not
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ABC 269
needed her so irnicli during the year her lonely life
wonld have been unendurable. But Jacquemine d'Are
was now home from Vaueouleurs, and she was careful
to keep out of his way. He looked at her in church,
and he walked past her house when his work was done.
He also sent his mother to reason with Mengette, and
to prove that troth had never been broken between
them by their quarrel. Mengette listened to Isabel
without a word, and avoided Jacquemine.
He had not fared very well in Vaueouleurs. Ger-
ardin d'fipinal said the people of Vaueouleurs refused
him at sight as the brother of the puceHe ; but when
he adopted the name of Du Lys, they rose up, and cast
their official over the city waU. He was needed at
Domremy before he came riding dejectedly home ; for
Jacques d'Are no longer went afield, or even tended
the sheep, but sat always with Jeanne's letter, written
before she went into France, spread open on the
Jacquemine had been home since midwinter. Usu-
ally when Mengette saw him approaching, and in-
creased the space between them, he turned off, or
retraced the way he had come. But while she was
watching her geese nip the short May grass which
broke through the white hill soil, he drew quite close
to her, stealthily. Mengette left the gander quaver-
ing at this intrusion, and walked toward the oak woods,
pulling wool on her distaff as if she thought only of
spinning. Jacquemine followed her. She turned on
the upland, having him at her heels ; and her geese
waddled in a long line to meet her.
" Mengette," said Jacquemine, " I intend to come to
270 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ABC
speech with you this day, wherever you may set your
She continued her walk.
" Gerardin d'fipinal says you do well to be rid of
me, for I am a poor stunted creature, and you will
make a better marriage."
Mengette turned upon him. "That is not the
She saw at arm's-length how wasted he was, and that
the dear lines of his face, which had been hers since
his boyhood, were stamped deep by care.
" I wish I had not gone to the vineyard the day we
quarreled. I wish I had never gone to Vaucouleurs.
Domremy is good enough for me. My father is plainly
dying on account of Jehannette, and Pierre also is
in prison. My brother Jean is settled at Vauthon.
Whether my name be D'Arc or Du Lys, whether I be
noble or simple, I have these old people to feed ; and
you have Choux. I must take my father's place, and
tend the fields and vineyards."
All the little jealousies of Jacquemine's life were
swallowed up in fraternal love and anguish, and a sob
almost rent his slight body.
" Oh, Jehannette ! Oh, Pierrelo ! "
Mengette dropped her distaff, and wept upon her
" But Choux," said Jacquemiue, still sobbing, " will
live forever. My mother counsels that we marry at
once, without waiting for him to die. We can take
care of him together. If your mind be not fixed on
making a better marriage, in God's name put me off
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AKC 271
" My mind was never turned to marriage witli any-
other man, Jacquemine d'Are."
He picked up her distaff, and she took it, drawing
out a thread, and brightening over the accustomed
labor. Long talk and much spinning, following the
geese through the grass, seeing their own peaceful
world lying at their feet— these were the homely, sweet
comforts which would never come to a man on another
hillside at the opposite corner of Prance.
Moist lush hiUs, holding Rouen in their lap, sloped
skyward, though where the soil cropped out it was
wldte like the soil of the Meuse valley. The Seiae,
fuU of wooded islands, flowed at their feet. A little
later, cowslips and poppies would be showing through
the green— thousands of lustrous-petaled cups massed
in smears of yellow and crimson.
The ocean tide came up to Rouen. Bertrand de
Poulengy watched the morning glint upon the river
at intervals ; but his mind was fixed within the walls,
where the life of the city was spread below him, di-
minished only by distance. His horse grazed behind
him on the heights which roUed toward Bonseeours
chapel. He wore no plate-armor, and his lean body
shrunk from his hose and leather cuirass and short
tunic of chain mail. On his knees he had spread out a
piece of the linen banner Jeanne d'Arc carried through
aU her battles. An archer had cut it up at Oompi^gne,
and Bertrand's own captor the more willingly divided
his fragment with his prisoner because he half feared
the magic of the thing.
Bertrand traced over and over the city walls around
which he had skirted helplessly. The gray pinnacled
272 THE DAYS OF JEANNE lyAEC
mass of Rouen Castle was grim even in May-time.
Bedford was lord of that castle, though "Warwick was
Captain of Rouen. Broad light upon hills and long
Seine valley showed one of the fairest parts of Nor-
mandy. For here the peasant was guarded at his labor,
Louviers, still held by La Hire's garrison, being the
only uneonquered town near by.
He noticed a beU tolling in Rouen, and the black-
ness made by congregated people, even when their
raiment or armor is bright, showed in one quarter of
the city near him. It was not very far from the cas-
tle's grayness that they were swarming together, and
after a while a yellow glare struggled up in the midst
of them. Wavering and lofty rose a pillar of smoke.
Bertrand de Poulengy stood up with his arms
stretched behind him, the wrists back to back. He
knew Jeanne d'Arc had not been condemned to perish
at the stake. All the world knew she was a prisoner
in Rouen Castle yet undergoing trial. But who was
chained to the iron stake in the market-place below
Bertrand began to feel the faintness of excessive
heat, and to breathe the quivering air which whirled
its white anguish around him. He felt his clothing
scorch, and the shame of its cracking upon him, and
leaving him naked to cruel eyes.
" Water ! " he whispered — " holy water ! "
And then the flames rose around him, and he was
alone in this red, stifling death, sinking in coals and
hot plaster as fagots crumbled, breathing flame, his
flesh running in liquid agony, his bones warping.
"Jesus ! " he gasped— "Jesus ! "
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 273
And then he felt himself drawn slowly upward ; he
heard music, he smelled a thousand sweet odors, as
numbness passed to gladness, the music became half-
distinct words, and he laughed in exultation :
Light as air, he shot aloft from the earth, and turned
his head to see, shooting up with the same impulse
from the smoke in Rouen, a dove. He forgot his own
flight, and hung watching it. Without flutter of wings
or swerve of body, it rose and rose, and was gone in
the dazzle. SinMng, he watched in a kind of trance
for that dove to reappear, remembering skylarks on the
Vosges hills, and forgetting that he had ever suffered.
Mists gathered from the void, and set a lower sky
betwixt the dove and him. The emotions which come
like winds from we know not what hollows of space
to play upon us— poor, helpless stringed instruments
of flesh and spirit— played on him, and made eternity
around him. Bertrand lay on the hill overlooking
Rouen until late afternoon.
The rain with sudden little whip-lashes cut him, and
water ran in minute tricklings around him ; the sun
broke out ; and the smoke, curved and driven into fan-
tastic shapes by the wet air, again rose straight from
Rouen, thinning to airy blueness. He was in peace,
as in some divine ether. Sometimes the breathing and
low grinding of his courser, the companion of many a
long journey on the earth, intruded near by. But the
horse was not insistent, like a man who stood over
him, heavy shod in the herbage, shaking him, and
" Bertrand ! Bertrand de Poulengy ! "
274 THE DAYS OP JEANNE D'AEC
He looked at the man with slow interest.
"Is it thou, Bertrand? There is little left of thy
face except the bones and blue eyes."
" D'Aulon, have you died also ? "
" What aUs thee, lad ? Has prison made a ghost of
" I think I dreamed." The young squire sat up,
and the old squire sat on the ground beside him.
The air was sweet after rain, and aU scent of smoke
was gone. With the instinct of adjusting himself to
what was present, Bertrand came forward in his eyes,
and examined his old companion.
" Where have you been, D'Aulon ? "
" In Rouen prison this twelvemonth past."
" Then you saw her. How does she fare ? "
" Well, I trust in God," answered the old squire.
" But who brought you out of Kouen prison ? "
" The puceUe's ransom money that she sent from
Bourges a year ago."
" Yes ; she sold aU. her nags. She ransomed you,
but no one ransoms her. D'Aulon, did they burn a
prisoner in Rouen to-day ? "
" I heard so."
"Was it a man or a woman?"
" It was a woman, lad."
Bertrand looked down, and twisted his fingers in the
" Doubtless it was some poor old woman."
The other squire leaned forward, sheltering his face
with both hands. " No ; she was young."
" We are used to war, you and I, D'Aulon. Never
mind the woman they burned, but tell me about
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC 275
tlie pucelle. Does she tliink we have all forgotten
" Would a poor squire be allowed any speech with
the pucelle, lad ? "
" No— no. I never have learned, ia all my service,
how far beneath her I am."
" Where have you been, Bertrand, this twelvemonth
" All over the northern provinces, trying to coUeet
robbers to attack Rouen, since there are no longer any
soldiers in France. You say theiy burned a woman
to-day. But she was not the age of the pucelle ? "
" About the age of the pucelle," answered the old
sqidre ; and he broke into groans and tears, bending
forward upon his knees, and weeping aloud.
Bertrand made no noise but an audible swallowing,
as if struggling for breath in the midst of smoke. He
waited a long time for the other to be done wailing.
" They burned a young maid alive— a young maid
about the age of the pucelle," he resumed. " Did you
see it done, D' Anion ? "
" No, I did not see it. I could not see a thing like
that done ; but the streets were full of weeping women,
and weeping men, too, as I came out of the prison.
Her name was on every side."
" Do not speak her name," said Bertrand, sharply.
" Did this young maid suffer long? "
" I thiuk not very long, though the pile was pur-
posely buUt so high that the executioner could not reach
her to shorten her suffering. She had a cross brought
from the nearest church and held up where she could
see it ; and she called out for holy water."
276 THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'ARC
D'Aulon still hid Ms face in his hands.
" The priest stayed with her untn he was in danger
of burning also. Then she made him come down off
the pile. It was afterward that she called for water.
And the people say she also cried alond the name of
Jesus. No ; it was not very long that the blessed maid
was forced to suffer ; for her head soon fell upon her
breast. The flames took wonderful shapes as of wings,
and there were men near who heard her speak of
"What was it?"
D'Aulon looked aside at the yoimg squire, and whis-
pered : " She spoke of voices. And a soldier fell in a
fit : he saw a dove rise from the fire."
Both squires sat like stone, the younger one with
an unwinking gaze fixed on Rouen. When the sun
was gone he said, without turning his head :
" D'Aulon, I took your name while you were in
prison. Whatever I did as her squire was done in
" Why did you take my name ? "
" God knows. It was my whim. She praised yon
once. I give it back to you with my horse. Take my
horse, and ride to Louviers. You will find friends in
"By St. Martin, I will not take the courser from
under you, and leave you here alone in sight of this
" D'Aulon, I never loved you. Would I give yon
my horse if I needed it ? Respect a man's vows, and
begone. When I come to Louviers you may give me
my horse again."
THE DAYS OF JEANNE D'AEC 277
" But you are too weak to walk."
" I have had the pestilence, but I have strength to
walk as far as I am to go."
"Let me put you on the courser, and fare beside
" Take him, or another may seize his bridle with less
The shadows would overtake D'Aulon on his peril-
ous ride. When he was gone, the young squire made
haste down to the Seine, and waited there until a great
Norman horse came out of the city gates, drawing a
cart. A haggard man walked beside the cart, and he
turned, and carefully backed his horse near the water.
Iridescent brine and the reflected rosiness of sunset
made pools of fire-opal in the Seine. The tide was up.
When it ran out it would carry drenched refuse of a
funeral pUe— plaster in which the stake had been fixed,
ashes, charred bone, and one great, darkly crimson
clot Hke a ruby.
" Her heart, it w ^i^ full of blood it would not
burn," muttered the mai^ beside the cart ; and looking
across his load, he saw a pinched, blue-eyed face at the
other wheel. The Norman peasant took off his cap to
" Are you the executioner of Rouen ? "
" Yes, messire."
"Did you burn a woman there to-day?"
" For what was she condemned ? "
" Sorcery, messire, though there be many say she
died a martyr, and ten thousand people wept."
" When was she condemned ? "
278 THE DAYS OP JBAJ««; D'AKC
"Early this momirig, messire. God forgive her
Bertrand clung -witli botli lean hands to the spokes
of the wheel. " What was her name ? "
" Jeanne d'Arc, messire— that great captain of the
French called the pncelle."
Jeanne d'Arc ! —a splash in the Seine, a dissolving
of ashes, a spread of sinking fragments ! No ! there
was a mightier presence in that sunset land. It was
the time of evening when she rode in to her victories.
Behind the carter's back, and so quietly that his sink-
ing made no sound, Bertrand let himseLE down into
the water, to float with her to the sea. He heard the
rush of troops, the clang of armor, the crash of falling
walls, and a woman's voice, —a leader's voice, an angel's
voice,— bell-hke, spreading its tones wave upon wave,
until they seemed to reach the horizon, to ripple over
France and around the world :
" Amys ! Amys ! ayez bon courage ! Sus ! Sus ! Us
sont tons nostres ! "